Assamese taekwondo player Rodali Barua at a training session ahead of the Asian Games starting from August 18 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang Credit: EastMojo image

Guwahati: Following her success in the recently concluded Asian Championship in Vietnam and the World Taekwondo Championships held in Korea, Assam’s Rodali Baruah is all set to register another successful stint at the 18th edition of the much-awaited Asian Games starting from August 18 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.

After representing India in several platforms, both at the national and the international levels, with flying colours, Rodali, who hails from Tezpur in Assam, is eyeing an Asian Games medal this time in the heavyweight category of the taekwondo event.

The 22-year-old taekwondo player is among the seven players from Assam and among the 804-member Indian contingent participating in the Asian Games this year.

Rodali Barua during a training session at the Sports Authority of India centre in Guwahati

Daughter of Anupam Barua and Runa Barua, Rodali began her journey in taekwondo at a tender age of 15 years. She, however, got her true calling when she was shifted to the Guwahati centre of the Sports Authority of India (SAI). For the initial two years, she continued her training there under the supervision of Dipen Barman as her coach. However, her aspiration to be a world champion got a massive boost when she found her mentor in coach Tamas Sethi, who pushed her limits and groomed her as per international standards.

The unending saga of commendable spirit over the years also resulted in bringing her weight down from 90 kg to 70 kg. Probably because of the untiring effort of her team, she also won a gold medal at the 35th National Senior Kyorugi and 8th National Senior Pumche Taekwondo Championships held at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh in 2017.

Speaking exclusively to EastMojo on phone, Rodali said, “These are moments of pride but at the same time there are lot of expectations riding on me. I am happy that there are so many people who have supported me throughout my journey, specially my parents, and I hope that they will help me to deliver in Indonesia. I still remember the words of Sethi sir, who once said that it is my dream to see you perform at the Asian Games, and these are the factors that kept me going.”

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