Agartala: Chandrakanta Debbarma, a 25-year-old youth hailing from Hatkata village in Khowai district of Tripura, is all set to represent India in the IFMA Muaythai World Championship to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from July 19 to 29.
Muaythai is a combat sport of Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. The sporting discipline is known as the ‘art of eight limbs’ as it is characterised by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins.
“I was always keen to learn taekwondo. I started playing it since I was a child. After years of practice under my coach then, I first participated in the state competition when I was 15 years old. I won the bronze medal that year,” said Debbarma.
That was when my coach saw my moves and picked him up to learn Muaythai under him. “I won the national championship thrice after I started playing under my current coach, Prasenjit Singha. I got selected for the world championship after I won the national tournament held in Sikkim this year,” Debbarma said.
However, the going was never easy for the youngster. His father is a Group-D employee in the state government and he has three other siblings. So, money has always been an issue.
“I could not compete in many competitions in the past for lack of any sponsors,” he added.
Debbarma’s dream is to become the world champion and bring the medal for his country. “I have been informed that Muaythai is likely to be included in the Olympics soon. If that happens, I want to bring the gold for my country,” he added.
While speaking with EastMojo, Debbarma’s coach Singha said that the state has many talents in the remote villages but due to less number of sponsors and efforts made by the government, they do not get enough exposure.
“I have been training my students free of cost and without any infrastructure for the past 15 years. Recently, the state government has provided us infrastructure at Netaji Subhash Regional Coaching Centre (NSRCC), after which they can now practise the game here,” Singha said.
It has been difficult for Debbarma to bear the costs of staying in Agartala and practise since the game is not recognised by the Sports Authority of India. So, he does not receive any kind of assistance from the government, Singha added.
Debbarma’s younger brother, Siddharta Debbarma, is also a muaythai player and has recently won bronze in the national competition in the 48 kg category.
A team of 12 players from different categories in India would participate in the world championship in Bangkok to be held from July 19 to 29.