Battler Chandana raises the bar

Battler Chandana raises the bar

On comeback trail

Battler Chandana raises the bar

 Looking at the agility and aggression with which K C Chandana approaches her training sessions, it is hard to imagine that this talented high jumper had faced a career threatening injury two years ago.

It was on May 28, 2013 that Chandana, aspiring to go higher in her sport, was dealt a devastating blow, almost crushing her dreams. Riding back home after a training session on that rainy day, a tree branch fell on her, causing multiple fractures to her femur, nose and hip.

The path to recovery seemed tough and a return to sport even tougher. But her passion for high jump combined with immense self belief brought her back in action.

“I accepted the accident and realised only time can heal everything,” says Chandana. “I had decided to skip the Federation Cup in order to concentrate on the Inter-State meet and that was when the accident happened. Initially, I felt extremely disappointed but I told myself that I need to look at my future,” recollects Chandana, who hails from Kukke Subramanya in Dakshina Kannada.

Taking one step at a time, Chandana displayed great determination to get back on feet. “It took me four months to walk. After nine months, I began rehabilitation and slowly worked towards my fitness. I hit the gym and began training at the SAI campus. After three months of physiotherapy, I felt I was ready to get back on the field,” says Chandana, who is now employed with the Indian Railways.

A trainee of senior coach G V Gaonkar, Chandana, took the first gingerly steps back to competition at the All-India Railway meet in Bhopal in July this year and even though she didn’t win a medal, it was a major confidence booster.

“It wasn’t a great show as I could jump only 1.60 metres but it was a step in the right direction for me,” says Chandana.

The journey to recovery was tough but not once did she feel like quitting. And she thanks her parents and friends for the support. “My parents are my biggest inspiration and they played a key role in keeping my spirits high. The doctors did a great job and the funds from the public and government helped us face the demanding financial situation.”

Gaonkar is a happy man and feels Chandana is hungry for success. “Chandana is fast improving and I am confident she will be able to surpass her previous best effort of 1.78M in the coming days,” said the confident coach.

Chandana describes her silver (1.76M) at the 2011 Jharkand National Games as the best moment in her career. Targetting bigger laurels, she considers Croatian great Blanka Vlasic as her role model. “I watch a lot of videos of Vlasic’s performances in different international events and learn from them. I am feeling good about myself and it’s time to prove my worth on the field,” she says, looking to the 2016 season with hope.

“My current goal is to make a mark in the Federation Cup next year and I am working hard towards it,” she beams with confidence.

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