© IOCOlympic Games News
Date : 09 Oct 2018
Buenos Aires. Argentina, October 9, 2018: Self-professed tomboy and surprise package Tababi Thangjam won India a silver medal on the opening day of the judo competition at the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games.
Thangjam, who learned the sport against the wishes of her parents, took the silver medal in the women’s -44kg category, beaten by Venezuela’s Maria Gimenez in the gold medal match at the Asia Pavilion.
“My parents tried to stop me from doing judo as they were worried I would get injured,” an elated Thangjam revealed afterwards. “They said the sport was only for boys but I would train in secret without telling them.”
In a first for the Olympic Games, these are the first gender-equal competitions where the same number of boys and girls are appearing.
“When they first found out, they said I wasn’t allowed, but I would always run away. They told me to study or do anything but this. They would get angry, but I loved judo, particularly the fighting spirit,” Thangjam said.
She revealed judo had changed her life. “I was a tomboy, always fighting with the boys, but I used to be so frustrated that I was weak. The boys would tease me, and even the girls would beat me up. But thanks to judo I became stronger and suddenly everyone respected me. No one dared challenge me, even the bigger boys.”
Her success has won over her family. Having won medals in a number of international competitions, including gold at the 2017 Asian Cadet Judo Championships, she now has their full support.
Mongolia’s Temuujin Ganburged also had to settle for silver in the men’s -55kg category losing to Artsiom Kolosau of Belarus in the gold medal match.
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