At 10 am yesterday, bronze medallist Khetrimayum Tilotama Chanu, the second daughter of Khetrimayum John Singh and Khetrimayum Ongbi Thoibi Devi from Kwatha Village, under Moreh sub division, Tengnoupal district was warmly welcomed by the residents of Kwatha Village.
The welcoming ceremony was attended by village chief, L. Kamal Singh, members of Kwatha Village Authority, Kwatha meira paibis and Kwatha Youth Club.
Tilotama said even if she could not procure the gold medal, she struggled hard as per the guidance and blessings of her coach Ibomcha and Dingku to get the medal in the tournament wherein 22 countries took part and was able to grab the bronze medal at least.
Narrating her story, she said Kwatha Village; having poor connectivity due to bad roadways, is a place where newspapers do not even reach. When asked how she managed to get into SAI and continue her trainings, she replied amongst the villagers of Kwatha Village she was someone born under a poor family who were struggling to make both ends meet.
It was Meetei Council Moreh that sent her to SAI and provided her a path to become the first female boxer from Tengnoupal district to play in international boxing and also procure a bronze medal, she added.
After coming to stay at SAI, coach Ibomcha and coach Dingku worked extremely hard with her and that resulted in her success. She managed to get a bronze if not gold and her success saved the face of her teachers, she said. On being asked if she will continue playing further, she said “Under the love and blessings of the two teachers of SAI, I will continue to work hard.”
Lastly, she expressed her gratitude to Khundrakpam Jadumani Singh, whom she considered as her own father, who provided her financial help whenever she went to play at a tournament.
Jadumani would arrange financial help during hard times when sending money from Kwatha village became difficult and whenever there was no money, he would shower her with affection, something which he would not show even to his own children, and made sure all her necessities were provided, she said.
She also expressed her immense gratitude to the organisers and Meetei Council Moreh for the warm hospitality.
It may be mentioned that at the recent International XXXl AHMET COMERT Boxing Tournament held under Turkey Boxing Federation at Turkey from September 11 to 17 where 22 countries took part including India, Khetrimayum Tilotama Chanu lost by a difference of a only one single point to a Russian boxer in the semi-final round and settled for bronze under 60 Kg category.
Source: Imphal Free Press