It is her first gold, but not her first medal, her first kick to glory, but not her first international kick-boxing tournament.
Pinky Yadav, 18, from Nathupur village in Gurgaon, won a gold medal for kick-boxing at the Asian World Championship held in Thailand from February 1 to 4.
Kick-boxers from 12 countries, including 14 Indians had participated in the tournament.
As part of the trophy, Yadav has been entitled for one-month free kick-boxing training in Thailand in April this year.
“My father wanted me to take up sports. I had a severe knee injury five years ago and because of that I developed a mind block against this sport. I was too scared to get back to it, but he forced me to, he supported me always,” said Yadav, who had lost her father recently.
Yadav, who is pursuing her Class 12 from a college in Sirsa, Haryana, was introduced to kick-boxing 14 years ago. She has been a regular kick-boxer ever since the beginning of her school life.
“I had also learnt taekwondo. Both are quite similar; kick-boxing allows punches, taekwondo doesn’t,” explained Yadav.
Since then, she has won 13 gold medals and one silver medal in 15 national tournaments. She also won two silvers and one gold medal in three international tournaments.
Yadav said she practices the sport for five hours daily under the guidance of Yogesh Kalra. Kalra has been her coach for the past eight years.
“My priority has always been sports. I want to make my career in this,” she said, adding that her next goal is to take part in the world championship that is to be held in Italy in May this year.
Till then, she will prepare for her Class 12 board examinations.