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Meharin headlines Kerala gymnastics

Meharin won two gold medals and a bronze in the 56th junior National Artistic Gymnastics last week. Photo: Special Arrangement  

A few years ago a petite nine-year-old girl walked in nervously with her mother at the D.J. Sports Club where her younger brother Mihraj was doing gymnastics training.

It became a daily routine for Meharin S. Saj and over a period of time she was fascinated by the acrobatics and tricks performed by her brother and other gymnasts.

Sensing talent

Coach D. Jayakumar sensed Meharin had talent and managed to convince her orthodox parents to send their daughter for training.

Six years later, Meharin became the first gymnast from Kerala to win a gold medal in junior nationals.

Meharin won two gold medals — allaround and vault — and a bronze in floor exercise in the 56th Junior National Artistic Gymnastics held in Jammu and Kashmir recently.

“I came to the nationals hoping for a medal in vault which is my strongest event. I had entered the finals of vault and floor exercises in the previous nationals. I never expected to win the allaround gold and it certainly came as a surprise,” said the 15-year-old, who is a big fan of Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina.

Persistence pays

“I saw a spark in her and her keen interest in the sport convinced me to talk to her parents. But it was not easy to get their consent. However, I persisted and they finally agreed to send Meharin for training.

“She is hard working and what she achieved is a bench mark for Kerala gymnastics. She trained with limited facilities at the club and got the opportunity to use modern equipment at the Jimmy George indoor stadium only for two days and that put her in good stead in the nationals.

“She can definitely improve and can win medals for India if she is given a chance to train regularly with modern equipments,’’ said Jayakumar, a former national medallist.

The 10th standard student of Government Cotton Hill High School has set her eyes on the Khelo India games next year. “My aim is to repeat this performance in Khelo India games and to win medals for India. I am working hard for that,’’ she said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 11:01:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/meharin-headlines-kerala-gymnastics/article37889604.ece

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