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Making light of his lightless days

V.V. Subrahmanyam
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Irfan with his coach andmentor M. A. Aziz.- PHOTO: K. RAMESH BABU
Irfan with his coach andmentor M. A. Aziz.- PHOTO: K. RAMESH BABU

He cannot see the world like us, but Irfan Bin Hamed Al Hamoomi, 20, is sure to make the world sit up and watch his exploits in judo.

The local boy is the only person from the State (among five from India) to be selected to represent the country at the ongoing Junior European and Junior World Games competitions in Hungary. The 90-per cent visually challenged student of Chanchalguda Junior College says his career took a turn for the good after meeting M. A. Aziz, former national champion, and a jury member in the 2012 London Paralympics.

“Things changed for the good after I met him, as I was facing difficult times,” Irfan says, even as he traces his humble origins. His father Irfan Hamoomi supports the family selling onion and garlic.

The boy’s career took off when he won gold in the 55-kg category in the Lucknow nationals for the visually challenged (Andhra Pradesh won the overall championship for the first time with six gold, three silver and two bronze).

Irfan is confident of doing well in Hungary where judokas from 35 countries are expected to vie for top honours.

“I don’t think of my handicap at all. I am just enjoying the sport,” says the youngster. Irfan trains with 20 others at the Quli Qutub Shah Stadium on a wrestling mat (not a judo mat), showcasing his indefatigable spirit to keep improving despite all odds.

Irfan Bin Hamed Al Hamoomi is the only person from the State to compete at the ongoing Junior European and Junior World Games competitions in Hungary

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