Power failure 'denies' live action for the family

Mamatha made it to the squad by sheer hardwork and determination

Power failure 'denies' live action for the family

Parents and well-wishers of Mamatha celebrate India’s victory in kabbadi at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou in China, at her native Hermunde in Karkala. DH Photo

Two girls from these two tiny hamlets in the coastal district contributed to boosting India's gold tally at the Asiad. While Akkunji Ashwini Chidananda bagged two medals in Athletics, Mamatha, who is from Hermunde in Karkala taluk, is part of the victorious Indian kabbadi women team at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou in China.

Mamatha made it to the squad by sheer hardwork and dint of determination. She had her early education at Hermunde Primary School, Jyoti High School in Ajekar and Government Junior College at Muniyal.

She completed her BA at Gokarnanatheshwar College in Mangalore. It was her coach Ramesh Suvarna at Government Junior College in Muniyal, who encouraged her to take up kabbadi, who was otherwise a keen volleyball player.

Ramakrishna Hegde,  Physical Director of the College, also played a key role in strengthening her interest in the game.  An employee at South Central Railways,  she regularly attends sports camps and hones her skills, said her proud mother Kitti Poojary.

"My daughter is good at agricultural work too. Mamatha enjoys working in the paddy fields and knows all the agricultural processes like harvesting, applying manure etc," she added.

The Indian kabbadi team's victory in the Asian Games has brought immense joy to the athlete's parents Bhoja Poojary, Kitti Poojary and siblings Madhura and Vishwanath Poojary.

Her brother Vishwanath had to slog it out at a garage so that Mamatha could carve a niche for herself in sports.

"It was only in 2005 that our house got electricity. My son purchased a television, so that we would not miss Mamatha's feat," a joyous Kitti Poojary said.

"Mamatha is well built and is an aggressive player. Her height has proved to be an added advantage. She has proved that one could attain success through hard work," said Ramesh Suvarna.

"We saw her previous match and were worried about her performance on Friday, as she was quite unwell. Our family is grateful to the God. Unfortunately, we missed the final match owing to power failure. However, my son was able to record the match in the town," said her parents.

Hermunde and Karkala celebrated the victory of the Indian kabbadi team by distributing sweets and bursting crackers.

Kasargod too proud

Sharmi, is a lone Malayalee player in the Indian Women’s Kabbadi team that won gold at the Asian Games in Guangzhou in China. Sharmi is the youngest daughter of Vettat
Ulhan and Mary who are based in Konnakkadu near Kasargod in Kerala.

Her feat has kicked of celebration not only at her Konnakkadu Manjuchchal house but also in the entire Kasargod. Sharmi hails from an agriculture family. Her parents walked 4km to a  relative’s house to watch the Thrusday’s match as there is no electricity and TV in their house.

Sharmi completed her SSLC from Government Higher Secondary School at Malalot and finished her Plus two from Sports School in Kannur. Sharmi is currently is pursing postgraduation at Carman N S S College in Thiruvanathapuram. Uday Kumar is coaching Sharmi in Kabbadi

Waiting to roll out red carpet

Akkunji Chidananda Shetty's family is on cloud nine and rightly so as his daughter is returning home from Guangzhou Asiad with two gold medals.

His mobile has been buzzing constantly and congratulatory messages have been pouring in. The family has been eagerly waiting to receive the proud girl, reports DHNS from Siddapura. Even the tiny village is gearing up to roll out a rousing reception for the girl, who made it a golden double by ensuring victory for India in the 4x400 relay.

Talking to Deccan Herald, Ashwini's mother Yashodha Shetty said: "Dedication, hard work and blessings of the God helped Ashwini to win two gold medals in the Asian Games. She has brought laurels to the country and her hometown. I am waiting for her to return."

Ashwini, who took to hurdles recently, is the first athlete from Karnataka to have won gold medal in 400 m hurdle.

"After Ashiwni's performance, our house at Akkunji has been continuously getting calls from well wishers", says proud father Akkunji Chidananda Shetty. " Ashwini was a very good at running from her childhood," said her childhood friend Seeth- anadi Ramesh Hegde.

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