Competing in Asian Taekwondo C’ships is a step towards Worlds: Rodali Barua

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Assam’s Rodali Barua, who won bronze in Kyorugi Category of the Asian Taekwondo Championship, become a household name in the Indian Martial arts and aspires to go places to become a powerhouse in national and international events. She also aims to participate in the World Championships next year.

Rodali’s journey began in the corridors of Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 1 in Tezpur, where the athlete trained for Taekwondo as a compulsory extracurricular activity. “I started Taekwondo to have another extracurricular activity as a way to bunk classes,” remarks Rodali. “Well, my advantageous height and talents registered soon enough. And I developed them in the heavyweight category as there were fewer participants and a better chance of winning the medals.”

Signifying her junior achievements, Rodali’s pursuit of Taekwondo came to fruition once the athlete clinched a bronze at the 4th Junior Nationals in Pondicherry. It was the first of a string of competitive achievements as the young athlete seamlessly stepped up to secure gold at the National Championships in 2016 under the senior participation.

Continuing her progress of elevating performance, the athlete did dropout from the Asian Championship camp back in 2016 due to a weight challenge. Relentless in her quest, she persisted in her training to qualify for the 2018 Asian Championship in Vietnam. Her triumphant return to competitive Taekwondo was marked by her victorious gold medal win at the 2019 South Asian Games

Being of stubborn determine, the athlete shared, “My goal was to prove myself and make sure my weight category wasn’t dropped from international tournaments.”

Raised in an affluent family of four members who had no sporting influences, the Barua clan has been a constant support in the athlete’s journey, Rodali said, “My family has been a constant guide always. My father is a tea estate businessman, my mother a housewife, my younger brother is completing his graduation and my elder sister a clinical psychologist is proud of the fact that I have been determined in my choice of sport and excelling at the same time.”

Explaining her path to engaging in more international participations as possible, the athlete shares, “Proving myself in the Asian Championships and other International Tournaments has been demanding, yet has improved my chances of winning the World Championships and bringing home the gold.”

Surendra Bhandari, only Indian to win a medal in Taekwondo at the Asian Games, has served as an inspiration to Rodali throughout her career. For aspirant Taekwondo practitioners in India, Bhandari’s feat from 2002 continues to be a source of inspiration and a standard.

Rodali stressed the value of financial support and exposure abroad for Indian athletes, she said, “Other country players compete in 10 to 15 international open tournaments annually earning invaluable experience. We don’t have the same exposure or financial backing despite having comparable skills and methods. We could compete just as well on a global scale if we had greater chances and assistance.”

Driven by the desire to win an international medal and motivate the upcoming Taekwondo practitioners in India, Rodali is training extremely hard in anticipation of the World Championship.

“This is only the beginning. Since the World Championship offers a greater stage than the Asian Championship’s I must put in more effort and win a medal there.”



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