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15 Sep 2019, Edition - 1524, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Coimbatore Forest Guard in victorious Indian Kabbadi Team

Umaima Shafiq

G Gurusundari, a trainee forest guard in the Coimbatore Forest Department and a national-level kabbadi player, was part of the Indian team which won gold at the World Cup Kabbadi Championships in Melaka, Malaysia on July 27.

Soon after her arrival in Coimbatore from Melaka on July 30 Gurusundari told The Covai Post: “I have been playing kabbadi since my school days. I graduated and have done M. Phil in Tamil from Yadava College, Madurai, so all my education was under sports quota. After completing my studies in 2012, I continued to train and play at the district, state and national levels. I have captained state-level junior and senior kabbadi teams many times.”

Gurusundari continued her training, workouts at Yadava College and playing even while searching for jobs. She is grateful for her Madurai coaches Jana and Deva who allowed her to play in their kabbadi club. In 2014 she was among 30 players selected for Asian Championships but could not get into the team. Meanwhile, she got a job as Forest Guard Trainee in April this year under sports quota.

Simultaneously, New Kabbadi Federation in Karnataka selected Gurusundari as the only female player from Tamil Nadu for the Melaka Championships. “The other members came from Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Delhi and Haryana.

“There were three boys from Tamil Nadu in the men’s team. They too won gold. We left India on July 19. Our matches were played between July 21 and July 27. We defeated the Hong Kong team in semi-finals and the Taiwan team in the finals to win gold. It was my first trip abroad and I really enjoyed it.

“Our tickets and sports gear were sponsored by New Kabbadi Federation while the Malaysian Kabbadi Federation hosted our stay.”

On how she balances her career with sports, Gurusundari says that both have rigorous training so her fitness is maintained. On completing training, she has to work in Coimbatore but plans to continue with kabbadi. “I am extremely grateful to my senior officers in the Forest Department for their support and encouragement in granting me leave for training and tournaments,” she said.

She is the only sportsperson in her family.

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