Teen Boxer Swims 2.5 km in Floodwater to Reach C’ship, Wins Silver

Teen Boxer Swims 2.5 km in Floodwater to Reach C’ship, Wins Silver

Sports

Even as water flooded the roads around his house on the afternoon of 7 August, 19-year-old Nishan Kadam could only think of the upcoming state boxing championships all the way in Bengaluru, a city he had never been to. Due to incessant rains in his native Mannur village in north Karnataka’s Belagavi, he’d also been unable to train for many days, which made him nervous.

He confessed to his father, that there was no way he was ready to miss the competition. The rest of Kadam’s boxing team was already at the academy, waiting to leave. Finally, his father said, “Don’t be tense. We will ensure that you reach in time for the competition.” Kadam said it was the unwavering support of his father, a farmer by profession, from day one, that helped him keep his passion alive.

Also Read : Old Bihar Bridge Collapse Video Goes Viral During Karnataka Floods

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Armed with this assurance, both father and son, packed the teenager’s boxing kit in plastic and proceeded to swim over 2.5 kilometres to the nearest motorable road, in chest-high water. Kadam went on to win a silver medal at the state boxing championship three days later.

‘It Was My First Competition, I Didn’t Want to Miss it’

The shy, soft-spoken teenager smiled as he talked of boxing and why he was so determined to beat the floods.

“I have been boxing for two years. I used to watch boxing matches on TV and since then I developed an interest. I was searching for a boxing club in Belgaum and the kids in Belgaum are not really into sports. Once I found this academy, I started cycling 5-6 kilometres one way to train. It was my first competition and I was very excited,” he said.

His coach and team manager Gajendra Tripathi said it was Kadam’s dedication that had brought him to the point of securing a silver medal in his first shot at competitive boxing. Ultimately, Kadam lost the final match to a boy from Bengaluru.

“He was a guy if the class starts at 6 am in the morning, he will be there by 5:45-5:50, before we reached, he used to be there. So that dedication has brought him till here,” said Tripathi.

Along with Kadam, six other boys from Belagavi went to Bengaluru to attend the championships and the team walked away with four medals in total.

Also Read : Drought to Floods: Behind Karnataka’s Extreme Weather Conditions

‘Will Definitely Win Gold Next Time’

“I wanted to win at any cost, but it was my bad luck that I only got a silver medal. I felt a little bad that I couldn’t get the gold but it was a very good experience to see other boxers and see how they play. I also learnt what to do when I am playing. It was my first such experience, and that’s why I’m somehow okay that I didn’t get the gold but I am glad I had this experience,” Kadam said, adding that he would definitely secure a gold next year.

For now, he is overwhelmed by the all the attention coming his way.

“I am from a small village, nobody knew me. After I won this medal in boxing, so many people now know me, and support me. I want to thank my parents, my coaches and also people from the Karnataka boxing association for helping me,” he said.

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