Maharashtra emerge as champions in roller skating at National games

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Maharashtra emerged as the champions in the roller sports, bagging 5 Gold medals in 36th National games. Tamil Nadu emerged as the runners-up with 3 Gold as the games drew to a close at picturesque Sabarmati Riverfront.
The real heroes, however, emerged to be skateboarders Chingngbam Ranju Singh (Manipur) and Shraddha Gaikwad (Maharashtra), who took hard routes to success.
The men’s gold medal winner, Ranju Singh, got hooked on the sport five years ago. He had to find innovative ways to continue with the sport. Every day, he wakes up well before dawn in Manipur before the city wakes up.
On the empty streets, he learned the basics of the sport and later mastered it. He became good enough to get selected for his state and went on to find his glory by winning in the national games. He did several odd jobs as well to fund his training. “I took up several part-time jobs, including whitewashing, to fund my training,” Ranju Singh said.
Shraddha Gaikwad, too, had humble beginnings.  The daughter of a security guard, her father shifted from Beed to Pune in search of a job. He found one at an international sports goods shop.
One day, Shraddha came to deliver lunch for her father and saw an interesting sight. “I saw people skateboarding at the store and tried my hand at it. The store manager, Abu Sheikh, saw me practising and gifted me a pair of shoes and a skateboard. I began training and I soon became pretty good at it,” the 16-year-old said.
Her story also became a documentary called Skater Girl, released by Netflix.
Both champions are now hoping that their success will provide avenues for more support as they look to qualify for the Asian Games next year.

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