‘First thing I thought after winning medal was to catch up on my studies’

Nitin Sharma
‘First thing I thought after winning medal was to catch up on my studies’

Tamanna Sharma with her coach Samir Deb at sports stadium in sector 79, Mohali, on Monday. (Express Photo by Jasbir Malhi)

Last week, when 15-year-old Tamanna Sharma won the silver medal in uneven bars in the U-17 girls category in rhythmic gymnastics in the Third Khelo India Youth Games at Guwahati, the Mohali girl knew that she had also to study for her XIth exams and studied some notes during the two-day train journey from Guwahati to Chandigarh.

Sharma became the first Mohali gymnast to win a medal at the Khelo India Games and after reaching Chandigarh last Thursday, it was the start of same routine of practicing at PIS GMADA Sports Complex, Sector 78, Mohali and studying for the young gymnast.

“I had missed my studies preparing for Khelo India games and the first thing which I thought after winning the medal was to catch up on my studies. While I would keep seeing my medal during the train journey, I also studied some of my notes on the way back to Chandigarh as I have to appear for my XI exams next month. Winning a medal in Khelo India Games is a special feeling for me and it will motivate me to improve my performance further,” said Sharma, who is a student of Gian Jyoti Global School, Mohali.

Sharma, who had started gymnastics in 2016 under coach Samir Deb at PIS, had won four medals including two bronze medals (all round and floor exercise) and two silver medals (uneven bars and balance beam) in the U-14 category Punjab State Championships at Gurdaspur in 2017.

In 2018, the youngster won four gold medals (all round, balance beam, uneven bars and vault) in the U-17 category in the Punjab State Championships at Patiala. In 2018, Sharma had finished 12th in the all round category in the National School games at Tripura. At Guwahati, Sharma finished second with a score of 8.15 behind Paridhi Jain of Delhi who scored 8.85.

She is now preparing for the trials for the Punjab team for the upcoming Junior National Gymnastics Championships to be held at Allahabad later this month. “I wanted to be a gymnast as I would always see gymnastics on TV and would also take part in school competitions. But it was only after joining the PIS GMADA Sports Complex in Sector 78 that my interest in the sport grew. The medals in the Punjab State Championships in 2017 and 2018 gave me confidence for the national competitions. My focus now is to make it to the Punjab team for the upcoming junior nationals and win a medal,” shared Sharma.

Coach Sameer Deb too rates Sharma highly. “Tamanna has won a medal at the national level with four years of training. Most of the medallists at Guwahati had been training for more than seven years. Her biggest strength has been her mental strength and alertness to read and practice new moves. With time, she has been gaining height and it will be her main challenge to adjust her body to the new technique and competition at the national level. She has got less time to prepare for the upcoming junior nationals but I am sure she will make it to the Punjab team and win a medal at the national level once again,” shared Deb.