Home » From the heart of conflict to the podium: Daughters of Manipur who conquer Hangzhou Asian Games

From the heart of conflict to the podium: Daughters of Manipur who conquer Hangzhou Asian Games

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From the heart of conflict to the podium: Daughters of Manipur who conquer Hangzhou Asian Games

By Khumanthem Dhanachandra
Imphal, Oct 12:

For a considerable time, the state of Manipur has grappled with the challenges arising from governmental inefficiencies, leading to widespread distress among its inhabitants. However, despite such adversities, the indomitable spirit of Manipur’s daughters has consistently pierced through these dark clouds, bestowing moments of jubilation and pride upon the people. This resilient spirit was recently showcased at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Among the medalists from India was Manipur’s very own Roshibina Devi Naorem, who clinched a silver medal for her remarkable performance in wushu. Additionally, Elangbam Priya and Oinam Chaoba proudly represented India in the Sepak Takraw team, which also secured a bronze medal. Post their triumphant return, a grand reception was organized for them at the SAI STC in Khuman Lampak Wednesday evening. During this event, Imphal Times had a candid conversation with the trio, delving deep into their journeys and accomplishments.
Naorem Roshibina Devi, who clinched a silver medal in Wushu’s women’s 60kg Sanda category, is a shining testament to the power of dedicated mentorship. Reflecting on her journey to the podium, she said, “The road to this achievement has been paved with intense training, relentless hard work, and countless hours of dedication. I owe a significant part of my success to the unwavering guidance and support of my coaches, who shaped me into the athlete I am today.”
She further elaborated, “Every little detail, from my attire to my strategy, was meticulously guided by Oja Priyokumar. I hold immense respect and gratitude for Oja Priyokumar, who has been a beacon of knowledge and inspiration in my life. My deep appreciation also extends to my parents, who have tirelessly supported and believed in me. While my efforts were considerable, their commitment and belief in me played an undeniable role in my success.”
On the topic of the prevailing unrest in Manipur, Roshibina expressed her sorrow, stating, “It’s disheartening that due to the ongoing conflict in our state, the people of Manipur couldn’t come together to celebrate our achievements as one. Those pursuing their education or training are particularly burdened by the turmoil. I earnestly appeal to both the Central and State Governments to intervene and find a lasting resolution to this distressing situation.”
Elangbam Priya, the proud recipient of a Bronze medal in Sepak Takraw at the Asian Games, spoke of the bittersweet emotions that accompanied her achievement. While the Asian Games marked her debut, and winning a medal was undoubtedly a moment of immense pride, the backdrop of unrest in Manipur meant that her joy was short-lived.
She expressed her sentiment, saying, “While my heart swells with happiness for this achievement, it also aches for those affected by the ongoing strife in Manipur. In ordinary circumstances, this moment of triumph would have been shared and celebrated with the entire community. Many of our brothers and sisters would have been right alongside us, rejoicing. However, the shadow of violence has kept many away. The thought that they are unable to partake in this joy due to the conflict truly saddens me.”
Elangbam Priya then reflected on her journey, which began at SWC in 2011. Since 2012, she has been honing her skills under the aegis of the Sports Authority of India. Discussing her journey, she reminisced, “For those of us in Sepak Takraw, the Asian Games is the pinnacle of competition, especially since our sport isn’t included in the Olympic Games. To secure a medal in my very first major tournament is something that fills me with joy and pride. I owe a world of gratitude to my coach Mohindro, coach Ibomcha, and all the dedicated instructors at the Sports Authority of India. Their unwavering commitment, state-of-the-art training facilities, and guidance have been instrumental in shaping my career and bringing me to this esteemed platform.”
Oinam Chaoba, another integral member of the Indian Sepak Takraw team, holds a philosophy that failures, more often than not, lay the groundwork for success. Reflecting on her journey, she recounted, “My debut at the Asian Games was in 2014 in South Korea. Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t secure a medal. I redoubled my efforts in 2018, yet the podium eluded us once again. These setbacks were disheartening, to say the least. However, the invaluable experiences and lessons from those tournaments shaped both my team and me, fortifying our determination and strategy.”
Her perseverance bore fruit when she said, “This year, our efforts culminated in winning a bronze medal, marking India’s maiden achievement in women’s Sepak Takraw at the Asian Games.”
Looking to the future with unwavering determination, Chaoba emphasized the wisdom she has garnered from past tournaments. “These experiences have armed me with insights and skills that I believe will prove crucial in upcoming challenges. As I gear up for the forthcoming National Games and future editions of the Asian Games, I am more committed than ever to elevate my performance, secure more medals, and bring honor and recognition to my beloved nation.”

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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