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  Life   More Features  15 Apr 2017  Packing a punch!

Packing a punch!

THE ASIAN AGE. | SASHIDHAR ADIVI
Published : Apr 15, 2017, 12:14 am IST
Updated : Apr 15, 2017, 12:14 am IST

A three-time world champion and black belt holder Anjana Eravelli hopes to encourage youngsters to take up martial arts.

Braveheart: Anjana leaps through a ring of fire.
 Braveheart: Anjana leaps through a ring of fire.

In a field where physical strength is vital, 21-year-old Anjana Eravelli has shown that human will can conquer all. Winning over adversity, this inspiring athlete has today become a role model for many.  

Anjana’s tryst with karate started at an early age. “My father is a businessman and mother, a homemaker. He was interested in karate and wanted me, his only daughter, to pursue it. I was fascinated by Karate and took it up for self defence. I started training at age of seven and eventually, made it my career,” she recalls.

Though she was initially criticised for her choice of profession, Anjana’s triumphs have only proved her detractors wrong. “Everyone objected to my idea of making a career in karate because it wasn’t a recognised sport. But my parents encouraged me and I was determined to make it big. Today, the sport is getting recognition. I owe everything to my parents and coach Eppa Srinivas,” she shares.

A native of Karimnagar, Anjana overcame her challenges and has won as many as 220 medals (the highest by an Indian), including a three-time World Championship in the Under-22 category. “Managing studies and karate was difficult initially, as I would practice for six hours every day, but during exams, studies were my priority,” Anjana explains, adding, “Staying away from my parents was tough, but my coach ensured that my focus always remained on the game. After winning the medals, encouragement increased and several girls in my hometown took up the martial art.”

Anjana admits that karate has changed her life, saying,  “I got recognition and an identity. It liberated me and made me more confident.”

Her new role as the Chief Coach of Telangana State Sports Karate Association has made her more responsible. “I will try and spot potential talent in the state and groom them for National Championships. Being the first woman in this position is heartening. The Government’s encouragement and financial assistance is vital, and my dream is to win an Olympic medal”, says the black belt holder. Currently in her final year of engineering, the young athlete is all geared up to represent Telangana State at the National Championship Tournament in Kumite — 68 kg category, to be held in Delhi this May.

Tags: anjana eravelli, black belt, telangana state sports karate association