Rhythmic Gymnastics Asian Championships 2018: 19-year-old Meghana Reddy achieves best-ever finish by an Indian since 2009
19-year-old rhythmic gymnast Meghana Reddy Gundlapally has achieved a new distinction for India at the 10th Senior Rhythmic Gymnastics Asian Championships being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The youngster finished 19th among 49 gymnasts, and with only 16 gymnasts qualifying for the final, she was the third reserve.
However, what is remarkable is the fact that this is the highest-ever finish at the Asian Championships by any Indian since 2009. Not only that, she improved her overall score of 34.6 at the recently concluded Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to 40.7. In 2009, Ganesh Sawant Siddhi and Keerat Kularhad finished 15th and 16th respectively.
"I am very happy and very proud that my student took such a big step for her country. It shows huge promise...promises of a bright future and much better results. Finally, we are happy to see that India is progressing in rhythmic gymnastics," Meghana's coach Varvara Filiou, who is herself a former Olympian, told Sportskeeda.
The Hyderabad-born gymnast was India's lone representative in rhythmic gymnastics in Gold Coast. However, she faced a lot of difficulties in the build-up to her event -- the young girl had to stay at the Games Village alone and even had to train on her own as her coach was not given access to the training area.
Despite the obstacles, though, Meghana managed to secure an 18th-place finish which put her second on the list of reserves.
When you win a medal at an international level, you get recognition. Of course, medal is the measure of success. However, not all achievements can be measured by medals. Yes, Meghana did not win a medal in Kuala Lumpur but for a relatively unknown sport, this achievement puts India on the map of rhythmic gymnastics.