Imphal: Manipur girl Thangjam Tababi Devi, who won a silver medal in judo at the Youth Olympics Games held in Argentina last year, brought laurels to the country and her home state once again by bagging a gold in the women’s 48 kg cadet event at the ongoing Asian Oceania Cadets & Junior Judo Championships 2019 in Taipei, Taiwan.
The 16-year-old judo athlete comes from a humble background. While her father, Thangjam Thoiba Singh, is a daily-wage labourer, her mother, Thangjam Ongbi Kamala Devi, is a fish vendor. As such, she had to face a lot of hassles to reach this far and be noticed.
At the Youth Olympics Games in Argentina last year, Tababi scored a 10-0 win over 2017 European Cadet champion Ana Viktorija Puljiz of Crotia before losing 0-11 to Maria Giminez from Venezuela. In the quarter-finals, Tababi had defeated European Cadet silver medallist Erza Muminoviq of Kosovo.
Tababi got her first national gold medal at the sub-junior nationals in Bihar in 2016. In 2017, she won a gold at the Asian Cadet Championships in Kyrgyzstan before becoming the junior and cadet champion at the nationals in Jalandhar in 2018.
She repeated her gold-winning feat at the Asian Cadet Championships in May this year before winning the gold at the Cadet Asian Cup in Kazakhstan which sealed her spot for the youth Olympics.