Jai Prakash, a 19-year-old ju-jitsu player from Rudrapur, recently made headlines for his impressive performance at the Asian Ju-Jitsu Championship held at Bangkok's Rangsit University from February 24 to 28. Prakash, who comes from a humble background, almost had to drop out of the competition due to lack of funds. However, after his coach and district association chief made a social media post requesting help, the residents of Rudrapur came together and raised around Rs 85,000 to help the young athlete.
Prakash's hard work and dedication paid off as he not only traveled to Bangkok but also won the bronze medal in the men's 56 kg weight category of the intensely-fought competition. The championship saw the participation of over 500 players from 30 countries, making it a highly competitive event. Prakash's success is a testament to his dedication and hard work, as well as the support he received from the community. His father, who works as a construction laborer, expressed his pride in his son's achievement and thanked the town's people for their support.
The players who won medals in the competition are now eligible for the sports scholarship by the state government. Kamal Singh, the other player who made it to the championship with public help, was unfortunately defeated in the third round. However, his coach expressed hope that Singh will bring pride to the nation in the upcoming Asian Games.
Prakash's victory at the Asian Ju-Jitsu Championship is not only a personal achievement but also a source of inspiration for young players across the country. Vinay Kumar, president of the Ju-Jitsu Association of India, believes that Prakash's victory will encourage more young players to take up the sport. A team of 34 players from across the country participated in the tournament and secured an impressive haul of six bronze medals.
Three of the medals were won by Uttarakhand players, including Navya Pandey and Adarsh Sharma of Haldwani in their respective groups along with Jai Prakash. The other three medals were won by Anupama Swain of Odisha, Amarjeet Lohan of Haryana, and Kiran Kumari of Uttar Pradesh. The players who performed well will take part in the 19th Asian Games to be held in China this year.
Ju-jitsu, a martial art that originated in Japan, has been gaining popularity in India in recent years. The union ministry of sports recently listed ju-jitsu as a sport, which is expected to boost its profile and attract more athletes to the sport. Ju-jitsu is not only a physically demanding sport but also requires mental toughness and strategic thinking, making it a challenging and rewarding pursuit for those who take it up.