Forget the four months unrest, curfew, violence, ceasefire; a 7-year-old boy brought joy, a moment of celebration to the valley. Hashim Mansoor from Kashmir’s Bandipora district won a gold medal at the Asian Youth Karate Championship held at the Talkatora stadium in New Delhi.
The kid represented India at the sub-junior category (below 25 kg) which featured contestants from 19 other countries. He grabbed the medal after defeating his Sri Lankan opponent in the final.
Hashim said he was practicing very hard since last year, though it was hard but he managed to win it. “I am very happy to win this medal. I had been practicing for this since the past one year. It was difficult, but I still won the fight.”
Hashim’s hometown Bandipora is one of the worst hit of recent Kashmir unrest. He was not able to go to school for four months. But it gave him enough time to practice. The karate kid said, “Remaining away from school for many months offered me enough time to practice the sport of karate. It was perhaps luck that I got so much time to practice under my coach.”
His coach Faisal Ali sponsored his training. He runs a small karate academy in the district. Faisal Ali said there were no such sports facilities in Kashmir so they faced a lot of problems to reach that spot.”It is a huge thing to win this Championship as there are not many resources for sports in Kashmir; Hashim faced a lot of hurdles to reach here.”
Earlier, an eight-year-old Kashmiri girl Tajamul Islam had clinched gold at the World Kickboxing Championship in Italy. She became India’s first player to win a gold in the sub-junior category at the Championships.
Hashim will now represent India in the World Karate Championship in Europe in September 2017.