Twisha makes a splash

Rowing to glory

Twisha makes a splash

Uzbekistan has become a happy hunting ground for the young and talented kayaker Karnam Twisha.

Less than a year after winning two medals at an international regatta in Samarkand, the 16-year-old Bangalore girl created history at the same venue last week.

The teenager underlined her immense potential when she won the K1 500-metre bronze medal at the Junior Asian Women’s Kayaking Championship, the first by an Indian woman -- at the senior and junior level -- in the continental bash.

“It feels nice to create history,” a delighted Twisha told Deccan Herald after arriving in Bangalore on Thursday. “My parents (Col K V Prasad and Jayasri), coach (M S Mahesh) and I have been working extremely hard for the last six years and the medal is just the fruition of all that. I knew I would do well there because I had won two medals -- bronze in K2 doubles 500M and silver in K4 500M -- and the conditions were to my liking.

“The waters were very choppy and I thrive on that. The competition was also stiff and I was in seventh place after the opening 200 metres. However, I made good ground over the next 100 or so and climbed to third place after which I just kept consolidating. This a huge motivation for me as now I will get invites for many international events,” added the Kendriya Vidyalaya (MEG & Centre) student who was accorded a grand reception on arrival here.

Twisha, who trains at the Trishna Club at Ulsoor lake, benefitted from her experience in competing at the World Junior Championship in Ontario last August. Although she didn’t create any major ripples, the very exposure to top kayakers and world-class coaches enhanced her knowledge of the sport.

“That tournament was path-breaking for me. The coaches helped me with my technique and changed my paddles. It made a lot of difference. Soon after I attended an altitude camp in Canada and that changed me completely. I am feeling a lot more confident about my technique now.”

While the Asian medal is definitely going to spur Twisha on, the teenager has just a received the bitter news of her coach Mahesh being transferred. The 11th standard science student, however, felt she can cope with the exit of her mentor as she bids for glory in next year’s Asian Games.

“Mahesh sir is one of the major factors behind my success. He has coached me since the beginning.

“But sadly, he is being transferred up north. I have to look out for a new coach and I think I can cope with it. My main goal is to do well at the Asian Games next year. I’m just going to prepare hard for it,”she said.,

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