SPECIAL REPORT OF OLYMPIA
✍️ Biswajit Barman
Rodali Barua, now a top ranking Taekwondo athlete of India, never thought that one day she will be a Taekwondo player. Though her introduction to Taekwondo was a merely coincidence but it seemed as if she was destined to be Taekwondo star.
Rodali, a daughter of Tezpur, was a student of the Kendriya Vidyalaya (1), Tezpur. During her school days, she started visiting Taekwondo camps with her close friends as a spectator. In the beginning, Rodali’s visit to Taekwondo arena was merely an attempt to skip as many study hours as possible. At the same time, most of her closest friends started taking formal training in Taekwondo. Once, for Rodali, watching Taekwondo was just an excuse to skip classes but with the passage of time, she developed an interest in the sport and started learning the basics. During that period, Sukumar Nath was the Sports teacher of Kendriya Vidyalaya(1), Tezpur. The coach observed that her physical built was quite in synchronisation with the requirements of the sport and hence he advised her to pursue formal training in Taekwondo. Sukumar Nath, Sports teacher of KV, Tezpur at that time, was the first inspiration in her life of sport.
On Sunday, Rodali shared many such interesting stories, incidents with her fans and well wishers, from her journey to a leading female Taekwondo athlete from a student in Central School, in a ‘FACEBOOK LIVE PROGRAMME’ organised by OLYMPIA.
During the programme she shared things about her life as a sportsperson which were never revealed earlier, things which can inspire many to pursue a career in Taekwondo.
Rodali shared during the conversation that the contributions of Tamas Sethi, her SAI Coach, is highest in her life as a Taekwondo player. The position that she has achieved today in the Taekwondo arena, would not have been possible without the contributions of Coach Sethi.
While talking about the most memorable moment of her life as a Taekwondo athlete, she shared an incident of her rejection at the national level. That was the time of trials for the Asian Championships. Her selection for the Championships was almost certain as there was no opponent in her weight category. But in the end, it was announced that only six weight categories were selected from India and the weight category that Rodali represented was not among them. And in such a way, her dream of participating in the Asian Championships was shattered.
Rodali said that she will never forget that moment from her life as a sportsperson but at the same time she also mentioned that the rejection made her strong and later she was able to provide befitting reply for the rejection through her performance.
It is noteworthy that after that particular incident of her rejection from Asian Championships, Rodali Barua was able to give stellar performance at the national level and won the title of ‘National Champion’ for five consecutive times.
Rodali takes Boxing Queen Marry Kom as her role model and for now qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics is her ultimate goal. Due to the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, qualifying matches of Taekwondo for Tokyo Olympics has been postponed till further notice. Now, Rodali Barua is preparing for the Asian Qualification Tournament of Taekwondo for Tokyo Olympics at the SAI sports training centre in Bangalor