Bhubaneswar: Measurement doesn’t at all times matter. Ask Himachal Pradesh Jyotika Dutta, the epee specialist who’s taking the Indian fencing world by storm. Petite, lean and most of the time the shorter fencer in a contest, that has not often are available in her manner of overpowering taller and larger opponents.
The 22-year-old underlined her rising stature within the sport on Sunday, clinching the primary gold for Guru Nanak Dev College at Amritsar in Punjab within the fencing competitors of the Khelo India College Video games right here.
Simply again from a extremely productive stint in France, on the Worldwide Fencing federation’s high-performance centre, Jyotika used that have to bail herself out from a difficult begin.
“Adversity teaches you a lot,” she laughed, brushing apart her two defeats within the group stage. “I had some rough starts but was determined not to make the same mistakes in the knockouts.”
And certain sufficient she didn’t. Up towards an opponent at the very least six inches taller than her in Yashkeerat Hayer, Jyotika raced to a five-point lead and accomplished an emphatic 15-5 win.
The ultimate was a a lot more durable proposition, with Linthoi Haobam (Manipur College) matching her level by level. But, Jyotika prevailed 15-14 in a tense bout, utilizing her small body and fast ft to her benefit.
The Rohru woman began fencing nearly 15 years again on the behest of her cousin Jiteshwar Dutta, a fencer and a part-time coach. Nobody round her, in her small city, had ever heard of the game.
“In the early days my cousin would train me. He would procure the equipment and teach me the basics,” she defined. “I was a sprinter earlier; so I was obviously fitter than most girls my age.”
Nearly instantly her expertise was apparent, and cousin Jiteshwar registered her for a trial at NIS Patiala. It has change into Jyotika’s dwelling since then.
She attracted consideration on the 2018 Asian Video games, powering her manner all the best way to the quarterfinals. Within the two years since then, she has solely been climbing up, making it to the upper echelons within the sport.
A B.P.Ed pupil, Jyotika explains how her stint in France has helped her mature as a fencer.
“Being around Olympians and World champions was huge for me,” she shared. “Nathalie Moellhausen, the world champion in epee, was training there. Watching her train, and seeing her brilliance even though she is almost a decade older than me was hugely inspiring.”
“Competitions are perhaps the most important thing for an athlete’s personal growth,” she added. “Unfortunately, fencing isn’t really a popular sport in India. There are very few competitions to participate in. Having it at the University Games is a huge boost for the sport and for us too. Hopefully, some more kids will pick up the sport,” she signed off.