Manikandan Kumar wins Gold medal in IFSC Para Climbing Cup
Bengaluru-born para climber Manikandan Kumar won the Gold medal in the IFSC Para Climbing Cup, organised in the United Kingdom recently. The Indian para climber also claimed a Silver medal in the IFSC Para Climbing World Cup in Italy and a Bronze medal in the para climbing World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria.
"It's my pleasure to inform all of you that I won the silver medal in the IFSC para climbing World Cup held in Campitello di fassa,” Kumar said in an IFSC issued statement. He was also vocal about him not winning the Gold medal in the cup, “One slip costed me the gold medal on the last hold of the finals but I'm really happy the way I climbed and it's an honor to win one more silver medal for my country,” he continued.
Kumar also said he was looking forward to the IMST World Cup which is beginning after two weeks. “Quest to win more Gold medals continues and the next stop is IMST World Cup, which will start in 2 weeks’ time, till then training continues and good night guys,” he further added.
After his recent success, Kumar became the first and the only Indian climber to have won three Gold medals, seven Silver medals and a Bronze medal. "This has never been achieved by any other Indian climber so far and I'm really happy to reach such a milestone," Kumar said to The Times of India.
Hailing from Bengaluru, Kumar competed in the Arthritis and Neurological Physical Disability category in order to win the Gold medal in the recently concluded IFSC Para Climbing Cup.
Born into a comparatively poor family, Manikandan polio affected his right leg in during his childhood. While working in a nut and bolt factory in Bengaluru, Manikandan came into the limelight after winning the World Sports Climbing Championships in Palais de Bercy, Paris in 2012.
Kumar also revealed that he had no plans for sports climbing and it happened to his life accidentally after he joined a camp for the physically challenged in Ramanagaram back in 2002. He also feels that climbing offered him a way to win over his difficulties and lead a successful life.
When asked about the International Olympic Committee listing sports climbing as one of the five brand new sports for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo Manikandan said, “It's a dream come true and I hope to represent my country in the Games and win an Olympic medal.”