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Rahul’s fitness secret — boxing

delhi Updated: May 27, 2009 01:33 IST

PTI
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Rahul Gandhi landed some hard punches on his opponents in the recent elections. Now we know where he learnt those moves.

Om Prakash Bharadwaj, India’s first Dronacharya awardee, taught him boxing for two months last year. The yesteryear sportsman and coach said the Congress MP came to him with the objective of keeping physically and psychologically fit for a busy political life.

“It was a great opportunity for me to train Rahul Gandhi for two months last year,” Bharadwaj said. “In the beginning, I was surprised... Later, I realised he was keen to have some knowledge about the art of self-defence.”

Bharadwaj (70) said Rahul (39) was greatly interested in sports. “He is a good swimmer, shooter and horse rider,” he said.

The coach rated his pupil as a great learner and very fit. “You won’t believe it but he was good and had prior knowledge of boxing techniques.”

“Knowing his busy schedule, I kept light training for him and for warm-up, asked him to run one round of his home ground. But he’d ask me if the drill was enough and run two more rounds,” Bharadwaj said.

Bharadwaj was also all praise for Rahul’s humility and manners: “One day, when I wanted some water, instead of asking an attendant, he rushed to the kitchen to fetch it.”

And it seems Rahul isn’t the only Gandhi with an interest in boxing. Bharadwaj recalled when sister Priyanka tried her hand at the sport.

“One day, Priyankaji showed an interest in working on the punching pad, saying ‘main bhi boxing karungi’.”