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Sep 17, 2018-Monday
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INDIA AT ASIAN GAMES 2018
  • gold15
  • silver24
  • bronze30
  • Total69

Asian Games 2018: A fishy affair for silver medallist Aman Saini

Aman Saini wouldn’t have taken up archery had he not broken his left arm in a taekwondo match. He wanted to represent the country in the martial art, but his family stopped him from pursuing the sport after the debilitating injury.

asian games 2018 Updated: Aug 28, 2018 19:08 IST
Ajai Masand
Ajai Masand
Hindustan Times, Jakarta
asian games,asian games 2018,aman saini
India's Rajat Chauhan, Abhishek Verma and Aman Saini stand on the podium with their medals.(AFP)

Aman Saini wouldn’t have taken up archery had he not broken his left arm in a taekwondo match. He wanted to represent the country in the martial art, but his family stopped him from pursuing the sport after the debilitating injury.

For the few months he was out of action, Aman — who won silver in men’s team compound archery along with Rajat Chauhan and Abhishek Verma on Tuesday — kept thinking of “another sport that could give him a kick”. Soon, the 20-year-old bought the archery equipment and started training at the Yamuna Sports Complex in Delhi.

When Indian archers won the 2014 Asian Games gold at Incheon, Aman was still in school but he wanted to be on the big stage as early as possible. On Tuesday, with a silver medal around his neck, his dreams were realized. But he couldn’t rejoice the way he would have wanted to because of the way India lost to South Korea in the shoot-off.

But Aman was happy that his maiden outing at the continental games had brought him a medal. The Delhi boy, who hails from Nangloi village and has done graduation from Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, now has another worry, to fly back to India and attend to his 12 fishes, which he has imported from across Asia.

“The time I was injured, I developed a liking for the ‘flower horn fish’. Now, I have a collection of 12 different species of the fish from places as far away as Thailand, Indonesia and also Bengal. Why I fell in love with the fish I don’t know, but I love those creatures. They are beautiful, but I have to segregate 12 fishes in 12 different aquariums,” says the 21-year-old.

“The reason: the fish is aggressive and if I keep them in the same container, they will kill each other. It was a way to tide over the adverse circumstances when I was injured. But then, it became a passion and now I prepare their food as well. I have stacked enough for them so that it lasts till the time I return to India,” says the champion archer, winner of the Asia Cup gold last year.

“Watching these beautiful creatures and tending to them makes me calm down and it helps in difficult situations like the one we saw today.”

For Aman, the catchphrase should not be, if you want to be a different fish, jump out of school. It should read: If you want to be a different fish, keep a collection of flower horn fish!

First Published: Aug 28, 2018 19:08 IST