TAMIL NADU

Gliding their way gracefully to glory

BALANCING ACT: Aaron and Upasana practise in a skating rink in the Corporation playground at Shenoy Nagar on Friday. - Photo: M. Vedhan

BALANCING ACT: Aaron and Upasana practise in a skating rink in the Corporation playground at Shenoy Nagar on Friday. - Photo: M. Vedhan  



Kannal Achuthan

Two students will represent India at Asia-level championships

Chennai: Skating seems to come to them as easily as walking. Their grace and agility as figure skaters has won two Chennai students the chance to represent India at the Asia-level championships to be held soon in Taiwan and Bangkok.

Upasana Updhyay, a class XI student of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan in KK Nagar, and Aaron Jayant Saldanha, a final-year student of Anna University, will practise their jumps and twirls on ice next month as they get ready for the Grand Prix to be held in Taipei city in Taiwan.

It is only in the last year that they teamed up for figure skating. They will enter their first international contest in October. Pavan Kumar, an international referee and a coach with the Roller Skating Federation of India trains them.

"As Aaron and Upasana have entered the `pair skating' competitions, they have to be extra careful that all their steps are synchronised when they do their overhead lift and swan skate routines. "Artistic skating is highly technical. If you make one mistake, you can be badly hurt," says Aaron.

Upasana agrees. "Our coach is excellent and Aaron is very careful. But I have hurt my head in a fall when we missed a step once," she says.

Apart from long hours of practice, the pair also needs to stick to a wholesome diet and work out in the gym to keep agile.

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