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City students win Kung-fu gold
Amol Gokhale | Monday, 23 June 2014 AT 11:59 AM IST
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Pune: Krishna Vasisht and Harsh Natekar led Pune’s charge at the Indo-Nepal Kung-fu championship in Kathmandu, Nepal, as the city practitioners of the martial art returned with five medals including three gold and two silver medals.
Vasisht, who began learning Kung-fu to loose weight, gave impeccable display to win gold medal in Nan Chuan in 50-60 weight category at the tournament held at Dasarath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu. It was the team from Maharashtra that raised the bar for India’s medal haul winning a total of 12 gold and 9 silver medals
The excellent performance by Pune team is the result of Kung-fu coach Navin Waghile’s perseverance.
Waghile’s wife, the 35-year-old Pratibha, who works at the Pune Municipal Corporation too won the gold medal in Tai-chi. The Waghile daughters, Srushti and Shruti, won the silver medals performing Nan Chuan in 30-40 weight category. Natekar won gold medals performing Nan Chuan in 40-50 weight category.
The tournament format included four days training and one day of competition.
“We went through rigorous training in Pokhar then came to Kathmandu to perform in the championship,” said Vasisht.
“The training which we received there was very intense and more physical compared to training in India, now every time I’ll train here, I will train much harder,” said Gurukul student Vasisht, who, recently completed his 10th standard.
Natekar, who studies at Aksharnandan School, was delighted with his experience of Nepal.
“I liked it very much, as I was performing at International level for the first time. Winning gold medal is big achievement for me, as competition was tough,” said Natekar, who is practicing Kung Fu for two years now.
Pratibha, who plays many  roles such as mother, wife, Kung Fu practitioner, and working woman feels that Kung Fu is all about the balance.
“It is all balance  between mind and body. Practicing Kung Fu helps me achieve me that, in my daily life.”
“I’m very happy what my daughters have achieved. This is their first medal at this level, and I wish girls will continue their success,” she added.
Despite having earned glory, the medallists rued that there was no support from the government for Kung-fu practitioners.
“Government doesn’t support us. For them it is not a sport. In Nepal it is considered as a sport and government extends support totally to pursue it as a career. Worst thing is, we can not even get place to practice,” coach Waghile said.
“We do our training on terrace of Natekar’s house in Karve Nagar,” he concluded.

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