Emerging athletes who impressed at the National Games 2023
Several athletes made their marks at the recently concluded National Games in Goa, competing for the first time. From Maharashtra's Tejas Shirse to Karnataka's Dhinidhi Desinghu, many youngsters made excelled at the showpiece event.
Several emerging athletes made their marks at the National Games 2023 for the first time.
We, at The Bridge, took a look at those promising athletes who excelled in the Goa Games.
Tejas Shirse, coached by James Hillier at the Reliance Foundation, broke the 110m National Games record not once but twice, first in the heats with a time of 13.80 seconds and then further improved his timing to 13.71 seconds in the final. Tejas’s exceptional run earned him the gold medal.
Tejas had come to the National Games, winning back-to-back gold medals at the National Open Athletics Championships and the National U23 Athletics Championships. He also received his first 'Best Athlete' award at the senior level at the National U23 Athletics Championships.
Karnataka's fourteen-year-old swimming sensation Dhinidhi Desinghu became the youngest female swimmer to win seven gold medals in a single edition of the National Games. Her seven gold medals came in 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 4×100 freestyle relay, 4×100 medley relay, 4×200 freestyle relay, mixed 4×100 freestyle relay and mixed 4*100 medley relay events.
She trains at Dolphin Aquatics Academy in Bengaluru. Her coach Madhukumar BM, emphasised that her meticulous preparation and discipline are the foundations of her success, enabling her to compete against senior swimmers.
Maharashtra's Pentathlete Mayank Chaphekar overcame injury to win six gold medals in Individual Triathle, Team Triathle, Mixed Relay Triathle, Individual Tetrathlon, Team Tetrathlon and Mixed Relay Tetrathlon events. Chaphekar also won a bronze medal in the Team Laser Run event at the National Games.
India's first Modern Pentathlon athlete to participate in the Asian Games 2023, Chaphekar had injured his shin bone when an epee sword pierced it in Hangzhou, China. Chaphekar, who participated in the Modern Pentathlon World Championships and Asian Championships, made the most of the opportunities in Modern Pentathlon during her National Games debut in Goa.
Maharashtra's rhythmic gymnast Sanyukta Kale bagged five gold medals in Individual All-Around, Team All-Around, Hoop, Ball and Club events. She also won a silver medal in the Ribbon event. She was adjudged the Best Female athlete of the 37th National Games along with artistic gymnast Pranati Nayak of Odisha.
Fresh from scripting history at the Asian Games, 18-year-old Haryana Shooter Palak Gulia struck a double gold medal, winning the yellow metal in the women’s 10m air pistol and mixed 10m air pistol events. She had won the Asian Games gold in the 10m air pistol with a Games record and added another silver in the team event. She trains with the support of the Reliance Foundation.