Gurugram boxer Mahi Raghav wins gold at Khelo India Youth Games
This is Mahi Raghav’s second medal at the Khelo India Youth Games; last year she won a gold medal in the 68-kg category.Updated: Jan 23, 2020 13:28 IST
Pugilist Mahi Raghav opened her medal account at the Khelo India Youth Games this year, claiming a gold medal in Guwahati. The Gurugram resident competed in the girls’ under-17, 70-kg category and beat Maharashtra’s Sharvari Kalyan.
The 14-year-old broke into tears while standing on the podium. Inspired by Vijender Singh, the young boxer said that it was her dream to win a gold medal . “I took up boxing because of my parents, who were firm that I take up an individual sport. They felt that it would make me more responsible, and not allow me to hide from my failures,” she says. This is Mahi’s second medal at the Khelo India Youth Games; last year she won a gold medal in the 68-kg category.
It was her coach, Bhushan Saini, who first spotted her talent. “I convinced her father that his daughter had the potential to become a professional boxer and trained her at my boxing academy in Laxman Vihar. She had better agility than any other player that I have trained. She was selected to be part of the state team from Gurugram only,” Saini says.
The young boxer puts more than five hours a day into training. She says that a sportsperson has to sacrifice a lot, which sometimes goes unnoticed. In fact, she doesn’t remember when she last hung out with her friends. Mahi’s world seems to revolve around the boxing ring. “Not a single day goes by when I don’t put in 5-6 hours of training,” she says. The Class 10 student dreams of boxing like Muhammad Ali one day. “I want to be as consistent as he was. I’d like to knock down opponents the way he did. Closer to home, Mary Kom is another big inspiration,” she adds.
The resident of Sector 37 started when she was 12 years old. Since then, she has developed her game at a rapid pace and carved a niche in every tournament she has participated in. Speaking of how others should follow in her path, she says, “Girls should come forward, no matter what the game is. The most important thing is for parents to motivate their kids. As a kid when I was growing up, I was an introvert. After taking up boxing, I have become more confident,” she adds.
Mahi has a tight schedule in her diary. She will be competing in the Golden Girl Women’s Boxing Championship in Sweden from January 31-February 2.
Gurugram girls have been on a winning spree this week—a few days ago, Jyoti Yadav, a 15-year-old city girl won a gold medal in the weightlifting snatch event (76kg category) at the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati.