Young champion of gymnastics

Young champion of gymnastics

The 16-year-old Hyderabadi Ananya’s win at Moscow recently secures her position as a champion in the field of Gymnastics, a sport she has been passionately pursuing since she was a six-year-old

Ananya Garikipati an XI grade student from Ganges Valley School has made India proud by being the first Indian to win gold and silver at the Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship in Moscow that happened recently.

She has indeed set way towards reaching her goal at a very young age that has quite impressed the sports lovers.

Sharing about the beginning of her interest towards this sport and her future plans, she says, "I train six to seven hours a day, which is a lot more than what is required for any other sport."

What drew you to gymnastics?

When I was in grade one, as a six-year-old, I saw my friends tumbling around doing gymnastics in school.

I came home and I asked my mother if I could do the same. Initially she was skeptical and said no. However, she saw my passion towards it and joined me in the classes.

Where did you get formal training?

We had few coaches in Hyderabad when I was in grade one, but it was on and off and it was not serious. After some time passed, Olga Kontos fromBelarus came to Hyderabad and that was the first time I got proper training.

I was 10 years when I started getting trained professionally. I also trained under Olympic Champion Anna Gavrilenko when I was in Moscow. In India, I train on my own and I am in touch with Anna on Skype and I have also got trained in places like Tashkent.

How many hours do you practice?

I train for about six to seven hours a day, which is a lot when compared to any other sport. For gymnastics we need long hours of training.

I practice during the morning hours before school and then after school as well. I start my day at 6 am in the morning and start off with my practice and then after school between 5 and 9 I start off again.

Do you have certain diet that you follow?

We actually follow very strict diet. We are not supposed to have fat and carbohydrates; we take in very little food.

My mother manages my nutrition. I don't really like junk food, so I do not crave for any of those. For gymnastics we have to avoid fatty food,

How do you manage to cope up with your academics and your sport?

I don't really have a problem balancing both. I concentrate at school, I learn faster when I listen.

At school I give my 100 percent and I am able to manage both. My school is very supportive of my gymnastics and encourages me.

How many competitions have you won?

I have played around 10 international competitions and I have won in most of them. I have won in Dubai, Singapore, Uzbekistan, and Moscow.

I went to three competitions in Russia and I have won gold and a silver medal. I also got an honour which is a 'Sash' for 'Miss Championship'.

What do you want to take up as career?

I want to take gymnastics as my profession, but it is a short-lived profession. People usually retire at the age of 20-22.

I really like to do aeronautical stuff, so maybe it will be something related to space that will interestme.

Who is your inspiration?

I have an ideal; the Olympic champion Margareta Manone from Russia - she won the Rio Olympics and I take her as my inspiration.

How does your family support you?

My dad sponsors all my competitions, my mother has taken up a judging course and she is an international judge now; she did it for my gymnastics and she accompanies me wherever I go.

I have a little sister who plays tennis and she wants for play international competitions as well. So, everyone has been encouraging me in some or the other way.

Any message that you would give for young aspiring girls like you

One of the things that drive me for gymnastics are people who want to put me down.

I just want to prove them wrong and tell that I am capable of doing it and show that I am worth it.

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