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Visually challenged judokas aiming high

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:59 -- geeta.nair

Susheela and Vijayashanthi will be participating in the World Blind Judo Championship.   | Photo Credit: M. Vedhan

Two girls from State are set to take part in judo event

R. Vijayashanti sweeps her opponent Susheela off the mat with a O-Soto Gari(large outer reap throw) and she falls down with a thud. In a split second, Susheela springs up and employs a Seoi Nage (shoulder throw) on Vijayashanti.

At first glance, they may look like any other judo practitioner practising at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Periamet, but these 24-year-olds are visually challenged. For the first time in the history of the sport in the State, they are going to represent Tamil Nadu in the world judo championship in Uzbekistan from October 7.


Hard practice

The two, who are postgraduate students at Queen Mary’s College, have been practising judo for five years and both hail from a family of farmers who struggle to make both ends meet. “I have always been passionate about sports but as I am visually challenged since birth I could not take part in any sport,” says Ms. Susheela.

Ms. Vijayashanti, who is from Tiruvannamalai district, had experience in judo at school. However, finding sponsors to send them for the tournament is a major hurdle. “We have approached the State government also. The girls will benefit from corporate sponsorship,” said their coach, S. Umashankar.


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