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Khelo India 2019: Gymnastics and shooting twins find healthy competition begins at home

Modified 20 Dec 2019, 21:04 IST

Vijayveer Sidhu at Khelo India Youth Games
Vijayveer Sidhu at Khelo India Youth Games

Pune, January 18: They say charity begins at home; but if you consider how two sets of twins from Aurangabad and Chandigarh have claimed six medals, including a gold each, at the Khelo India Youth Games 2019 here, you could even say the same about healthy sporting rivalry and competition.

The Hattekar sisters, Siddhi and Riddhi from Aurangabad, and the Sidhu brothers, Udhayveer and Vijayveer from Chandigarh, do not have to look outside of their homes to find someone to push them on their individual journeys. The twins do a good turn of that and, what’s more, they take pride in each other's evolution as athletes.

Siddhi Hattekar won the girls Under-17 all-around silver and backed that up with a gold in the uneven bars while her twin, Riddhi won bronze medals in the all-around and balance beam here. Daughters of a journalist, the Hattekars benefit from being able to train in the Sports Authority of India centre in their home-town.

The Sidhu twins lost their father Gurpreet Singh Sidhu a little over a year ago but their mother, Rani Kaur, encouraged them to continue their pursuit of the sport. A teacher by profession, she has placed them under the charge of coach DS Chandel in Chandigarh. They have already won medals in the ISSF World Championships at the junior level.

Udhayveer Sidhu won the boys Under-17 10m air pistol gold while his brother took silver in the Under-21 event. They competed in different age-groups to take a crack at winning two gold medals for Chandigarh but that was thwarted by world championship medallist Arjun Singh Cheema by a mere 0.2 points.

While it is easier to distinguish the Hattekar sisters – Riddhi has longer hair – it takes more effort for the casual onlooker to differentiate between the identical Sidhu twins. Yet, come to think of it, when it comes to twinning effortlessly, the sets of sisters and brothers start with an inherent advantage.

Indian sports lovers will be familiar with the success that Australian cricketers Steve and Mark Waugh and American tennis stars Mike and Bob Bryan have had as twins in world sport. Indian cricket also has found a pair of twins, Baba Aparajith and Baba Indrajith, who have broken through to play first-class cricket.

Uttarakhand’s Tashi and Nancy Malik, who became the first twin sisters to climb Mount Everest, went on to complete the famed Explorers’ Grand Slam (scaling the Seven Summits and the two Poles) have already shown that Indian twins will not be left behind. Indian fans will hope that the Hattekar and Sidhu twins will strive hard and continue towards excellence.

Published 18 Jan 2019, 13:29 IST
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