Who is Roshibina Devi Naorem? All you need to know about the Asian Games 2023 silver medalist

Roshibina Devi Naorem (Credits: LatestLY)
Roshibina Devi Naorem (Credits: LatestLY)

On Thursday, India's Roshibina Devi Naorem won the silver medal in the women's 60kg Wushu (Sanda) semifinal against China’s Xiaowei Wu in the 19th Asian Games being held in Hangzhou.

Roshiniba went down fighting despite the judges ruling in favor of the local athlete. Her opponent seemed to be in awe of Roshibina's moves and was often left struck by the Indian's agility.

It was a historic feat for Roshibina as she became only the second Indian to reach a Wushu final since Sandhyarani Devi during the 2010 Games at Guangzhou.

It needs to be remembered that Roshibina won a bronze medal in the same event in the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Although Roshibina's opponent on Thursday, Wu, took valuable points for a takedown in the first round, the Indian seemed to be in control in the second round.

However, Wu managed to connect a kick to Rohibina's torso, which negated the slight advantage the latter had. This medal extended India’s medal haul at the Games to 23.

Who is Roshibina Devi Naorem?

Hailing from Kwasiphai Mayai Leikai village in the Bishnupur district in Manipur, Roshibina Devi Naorem has made herself and India proud in the past as well.

As mentioned earlier, she won the bronze medal in Wushu (Sanda) at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, losing to Cai Yingying of China in the semifinals.

In 2019, she bagged the prestigious gold medal in the South Asian Games held in Kathmandu-Pokhara.

Roshibina came into the limelight when she won the bronze in the World Junior Wushu Championships in 2016. The story goes that she picked up the sport after constantly finding herself in fights with the boys in her neighborhood.

To his credit, her father, a farmer, approved and allowed her to pursue a career in Wushu when she decided to do so later. The 23-year-old dedicated her run to the final to the three Wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh, who were denied visas by the Chinese government.

This also included her sparring partner Onilu Tega, who is also one of her closest friends.

Before the final, Roshibina had said:

“I want to win (the gold) for my three friends who could not make it here. I am used to having Onilu Tega around. We often train together and are good friends. In big events like these, it is important to have someone you are comfortable with.”

Despite not having won the gold, Roshibina has made herself, her family, and the nation immensely proud with her achievements. This medal is even more special given the situation that her home state of Manipur is in at the moment and how she fears for her parents' safety every week.

Roshibina is blessed with immense mental fortitude to keep that on the back burner and focus on her sport. She has proved that she is a real fighter. She is one of the leading lights of India in Wushu at the moment, and long may it continue.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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