In an exclusive conversation with Merinews.com, Manjeet Nagil says he is an unknown face in Indian sport even after winning the WAKO World Cup Diamond Kickboxing Championships 2011 at Anapa, Russia. He has big dreams of winning an Olympic Gold medal for the country but feels the support for this journey is lacking.
MANJEET NAGIL who won the WAKO World Cup Diamond Kickboxing Championships 2011 at Anapa, Russia, was initially interested in taking up a career in Boxing. While speaking to merinews.com, he said “It was my parents who encouraged me to take up kickboxing and after some time I also gathered interest in the sport and chose this as my sport”. In a country, where cricket rules the roost, it takes lots of courage for an individual to take up any other sport, let alone a relatively unknown sport like kickboxing, as a professional. But the kickboxer has won several medals at various competitions around the world.
Nagil began to learn the basics of the sport when he was six years old. He has been improving at this sport with every passing year. His victory in Russia was due to his relentless effort that he puts in his game and his practise sessions under the watchful guidance of his coach, Santosh Aggarwal.
Sadly, in spite of earning laurels for the country by winning a major championship at the international level, he was not given the treatment that he deserves. He said, “Other sportspersons like cricketers are given huge money, when they bring a good name to the country”. As of now, there is no comparison between kickboxing and cricket. With a sense of anguish in his tone he said, “I was not even said thanks by the government, let alone any benefits”. HUDA had actually promised a job to him in accordance to the medal that he brought for the country, but they did not fulfil their promise after the victory, said Nagil.
Nagil has not lost hope and is keen on taking his game to the next level. He practises for 5 hours on a daily basis - three hours in the morning and 2 in the evening. Under the watchful eyes of his coach, he learns the trait of the game. He said, “I am always on the lookout to improve my kicks and punches, so it is during training that I master these skills”.
When asked about his dream he said in a very patriotic manner, “I want to win an Olympic Gold medal for my nation”. He idolises the present face of Indian boxing, Vijender Singh, and is eager to emulate his achievement of winning an Olympic medal. As of now the dream is very distant, as the sport is not even on the list of Olympic sports. But on a positive note he said “I hope, it will be included in the Olympics too”.
Nagil said, “The sport is slowly gaining popularity in India
too”. The government needs to play an important role in promoting the sport, as the players participating in the world championships also brought good results. Other kickboxers also won medals in the competition, though it was not gold. While the kickboxer has a long way to go in his career he has already become a hero in this sport for India. He needs to carry the Indian flag high every time he participates in a major championship. There might not be millions watching him play but he can definitely bring a smile upon his mother and father's face, who played an important role in making him what he is today - a World Champion.