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Wushu fever catching up

GONE ARE the days when traditional games like hockey and athletics were the main events in which Indians expected medals. Meet Monika Namdeo, Anjul Namdeo and Amit Chaurasia of Jabalpur who are all set to win medals in the World Wushu Championship to be organised in Malaysia from August 19. All three of them have been selected for the championship.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2006 14:33 IST

GONE ARE the days when traditional games like hockey and athletics were the main events in which Indians expected medals. Meet Monika Namdeo, Anjul Namdeo and Amit Chaurasia of Jabalpur who are all set to win medals in the World Wushu Championship to be organised in Malaysia from August 19. All three of them have been selected for the championship.

They participated in the two-day-long selection trials for the national games in Guwahati. The trials, which were organised by the Sports and Youth Welfare Department at Tatya Tope Stadium, concluded today.

Anjul, a student of class X, has participated in seven national championships so far. A silver medallist at the School-level International Meet organised in Lucknow, she expects medals at the world championship.

“I have the experience of participating in internal meets. I have been working hard and am confident of winning medals in the championship,” she said. She feels Chinese players will give her tough fight.

The importance of this game could be gauged from the fact that the International Wushu Federation (IWUF) placed a bid with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to have wushu included in future Olympic games but so far nothing has materialised in this regard.

However, the IOC has allowed China to organise an international wushu event during the 2008 Olympic Beijing event. However, it would not be one of the 28 official Olympic sports nor is it a demonstration event. Instead, it will be called
the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Wushu Tournament.

Monika, the only girl from the State participating in the world championship, believes that India has rich prospects in this game. Girls have been attracted to this game, she adds. 

“Such a large number of girls and boys in the world championship would definetly bring laurels to the country,” said a confident Monika.

Having participayted in eight national championships, she is all set to challenge foreign participants.  Wushu, also known as modern wushu or contemporary wushu, is both an exhibition and a full-contact sports based on a reinterpretation of traditional Chinese martial arts.

Created in the Peoples Republic of China, wushu has spread globally through the IWUF, which organises the World Championships of Wushu every two years. The first World Championship was held in Beijing in 1991. Though wushu has been in India for 18 years, it has taken lot of time for the people to accept it in a big way.

Amit Chaurasia said the championship is an opprtunity for Indian players to challenge others.  Their coach and secretary of the Wushu Association of Madhya Pradesh, Manoj Gupta said that the country’s future in this game is bright.

Gupta, who finds mention in the Limca Book of Records for holding the biggest wushu demonstration, thinks that there is still lot of scope to popularise the game in Madhya Pradesh.

“There is need to organise number of championships and camps to popularise this game in the State,” SAI coach Gupta said.

Amit in record books
JABALPUR LAD Amit Sudersan, who is a student of Manoj Gupta, entered the Limca Book of Records for kicking a ball placed at a heigtht of 8 feet and 11 inches.

When asked, Amit said he did not have any problem jumping and kicking the ball. “Regular practise and hardwork has made me perfect in going for such dangerous demonstrations,” Amit said. 

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