India’s women judokas won hearts on the opening day of the 8th South Asian Judo Championship in Lalitpur, Nepal. The women started off with an overwhelming performance by winning 4 gold medals on Saturday.

From India, L Sushila Devi won the gold medal in the 48 kg category who overpowered Humaira Ashiq of Pakistan in the final. The second gold came from Kalpana Devi Thoudam, who knocked down Maryam of Pakistan in the 52 kg category. Meanwhile, in the 57 kg category, A Anita Chanu defeated local girl Lila Adhikari while H Sunibala Devi dished out Phupu Lhamu Khatri of Nepal in the 63 kg category to win country’s fourth gold.

On the other hand, in the men’s category, India’s men bagged two bronze medals while Pakistan won two gold and host Nepal got one gold. The other teams who are participating in this in a three-day championship are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

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In a country where cricket ranks superior, finding a way with the lesser perused sport, Judo, is hard. However, that concept is changing. The spotlight came when Garima Chaudhary became the sole Indian to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Then she clinched the gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Judo Championship finals in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

A total of 102 players are competing in the ongoing championship, of which 13 are Indian.

The women’s section will also have categories from minus 48 kg to above 78 kg. This is the fourth time Nepal is hosting South Asian Judo Championship.

In another inspiring moment, 60 visually impaired women from rural Madhya Pradesh learned the techniques of self-defence after training in Judo. Beating the odds, these women are being given judo training to fight assault and abuse in the country. Many of them have already received laurels in national championships, won medals and have begun mentoring other visually impaired women in their area.

Feature Image Credit: DDNews

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