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Bavleen takes J&K to new heights in gymnastics

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Bavleen Kaur of Jammu & Kashmir in action in Rhythmic Gymnastics at the Khelo India Youth Games
Bavleen Kaur of Jammu & Kashmir in action in Rhythmic Gymnastics at the Khelo India Youth Games

Pune, January 11: It is not often that you come across a sportsperson winning a medal in every category they have participated in at a single tournament.

That is something young Bavleen Kaur from Jammu and Kashmir managed to achieve at the Khelo India Youth Games here in Pune. 

Bavleen, who turns 16 later this week, took home an astonishing three gold and two silver medals, stamping her authority at the games with sheer class.

She backed up her performance at the Khelo India School Games 2018 where she bagged four medals that included two gold, and the national championships last year where she led her state to victory. 

Jammu and Kashmir had won six medals till the end of competition on Thursday and off those, five came from Bavleen.

The sixth was from Vandhana Balamurugan, who was third in Ribbon. The efforts of this duo ensured Jammu and Kashmir were in Top-10 of the medals tally at the end of Thursday.

Bavleen, the star performer for her team, was at her best in all the events she played in, returning scores of 12.35,11.25, 13.30 and 11.40 in the ball, ribbon, clubs, and hoop events, respectively, on Thursday.

Her gold medal in the all-round category came with a score of 43.40 where she left behind Maharashtra’s Shreya Bhangale and Krisha Chheda.

Bavleen, a trainee of Krupali Patel Singh and S.P Singh, is as graceful in conversation as she is on the gymnastics floor.

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She was extremely grateful to her coaches and credits all her success to them. “I am here only because of my coaches who have worked relentlessly to help us be ready for such major events,” said Bavleen whose performances have earned her numerous fans.

Talking about the effort by her coaches, she added,

“What makes this win even more special for me is the happiness I was able to give my coaches who have always helped me grow despite the lack of adequate training facilities and equipment back home in Jammu and Kashmir. They always ensured that I focused solely on my game and they took care of the rest.”

Bavleen did not shy away from expressing her happiness for her teammate Vandhana Balamurugan who won bronze in the ribbon event with a score of 10.30.

Vandhana was the only other gymnast from Jammu and Kashmir to win a medal in the under-17 gymnastics category. Bavleen and Vandhana will now lend their support to their teammates participating in the under-21 category, at the Balewadi Sports Complex.

Despite having achieved what was her main goal for the last few months, Bavleen showed no signs of complacency and focused on the bigger picture.

“I am really glad about what I have achieved here, but this is just the start. I will continue working towards a bigger goal of representing the country at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Winning medals for the country is my ultimate aim and I will leave no stone unturned as I prepare for the same,” added Bavleen who is already becoming a household name at a very early age. 
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OFFICIAL
Khelo India Youth Games is a part of the revamped national programme for development of sports, Khelo India. After the resounding success of the Khelo India School Games in 2018, it is back in 2019 in a much bigger and better version as the Youth Games. For the first time, students from colleges and universities are participating and will have a total of 9000 participants. Website: https://youthgames.kheloindia.gov.in/
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