He always harboured the dream of making it big. Ashish Kumar, who became a household name after winning the first ever medal in gymnastics in the Commonwealth Games, has done it again - this time in China.
The 19-year-old again created history by winning a bronze with a score of 14.925 in Guangzhou in the floor exercise of the apparatus finals on Tuesday. Ask him what keeps him going, and pat comes the reply. “I never stopped dreaming.” Currently ranked 32nd in the world, the champion was understandably happy. His joy, however, stems more from the fact that he upstaged Feng Zhe, a Chinese for a medal. “It's good that I have won a medal. But as a player I am overwhelmed at pushing over a Chinese to claim the third spot. To defeat a Chinese in his home is something I will never forget. He scored 14.90 and missed the bronze by a whisker,” said an elated Ashish. The confidence that Ashish exuberates hasn't come overnight. It was after years of hard work and determination that he could put in medal winning performances in two back-to-back mega events. “The kind of grueling sessions I underwent for the CWG gave me confidence,” said the Allahabad lad. “After winning two medals, I was sure of replicating the success at the Asiad. I think my CWG medals motivated me, boosted my confidence and helped me believe in myself.”
With his birthday approaching, the champion, like any other youngster, wants to go home and celebrate with his family and friends. “On November 26, I want to be home. I am homesick. I want to meet my parents, be with them and savour the taste of my success.”
A star is born and we wish him all the best.