New Delhi (India), March 30: The 2023 Asian Games, scheduled to take place in Hangzhou, China will begin on September 23. There are only a handful of months remaining and ahead of the prestigious event, we sat down with one of India’s brightest medal prospects in Judo, Manish Mann a.k.a Manish Kumar to learn more about his preparations and plans ahead. Here are a few excerpts from the interaction.
Q: The countdown to the Asian Games has already begin. How have your preparations been thus far?
A: I am currently focusing on my diet, nutrition, training and work out to be in the best possible shape going into this prestigious continental tournament. I am working hard to stay injury free and achieve my primary objective. My ultimate goal is to clinch the gold medal in this top-tier tournament and fly the Indian flag high on Chinese soil.
Q: You’re one of the most well-known Indian Judokas at the International level. Just take us through your journey so far
A: I have been an active athlete for more than a decade. At the national level, I have won multiple honours including a Gold medal in Senior National Championships 2009, Kerala in the 90 Kg category. I won a bronze medal in Federation Cup Championship, 2008, Haryana in 81 Kg as well as a Silver medal in the All India Inter University Games 2008 Manipur in 90 Kg. When it comes to the international scene, I have represented India at various levels and won laurels for my country. I won a Bronze medal in Asian Championship, 2015 held in Lebanon in 100 Kg, a Bronze medal in Trishakti International Open Judo Championship, 2014 held in Indonesia in 90 Kg, Bronze medal in 1st Martial Arts Asian Games 2009 held at Bangkok in 100 Kg, Bronze medal in Grand Prix 2007 held at France in 90 kg among others.
Q: What acts as the biggest motivation for you while representing the country?
A: I believe that whoever puts on the Indian uniform, it’s their primary responsibility to make the country proud. When you put the India colours on, you don’t need any added motivation to do well. Every time I put on that jersey, I always make sure that I give it my best shot on the mat. There is no greater pride than representing your nation.
Q: Are you following a particular diet or nutrition plan going into the Asian Games?
A: I have a fixed diet plan prescribed by my team of experts. I believe home-made food is the best form of nutrition. Apart from that, milk, ghee and that sort of stuff which we normally get are also very good for your health. Hydration is also very important and I always give special importance to my hydration plan.
Q: As a veteran in the fraternity, what would be your message for the upcoming generation?
A: I would like to encourage more youngsters to take up sports not just as a profession but also as a means to stay fit and healthy. There is no substitute to hardwork so always remember to give it your all in whatever you do and never lose your focus. Believe in yourself and success will be in your grip sooner or later.