16-year-old Hamdan Khan with his medal at a felicitation at his cradle in Tamolia on Thursday. Telegraph picture
Call it free publicity for a tight-fisted state.
Jharkhand is pettily basking in the silver glory of Jamshedpur boy Hamdan Khan — who brought home a medal from the 2nd International Invitational Wushu Competition held in Singapore from July 18 to 23 — without shelling out a single penny.
The 16-year-old Class X student of Govind Vidyalaya, Tamolia, was a part of the six-member Indian squad that returned with two silver medals on Thursday. While Hamdan claimed his glory in the 100-plus weight category, losing 2-3 to his Chinese opponent in the summit clash, Rishikesh Patel of Ahmedabad won the other silver in the 85kg category.
“I surrendered before the third round after suffering an eye injury,” said Azad Bustee resident Hamdan.
The budding wushu player rued that there was no monetary support from the state. “I had to arrange Rs 75,000 for my trip to Singapore. In fact, all the other five members of our squad had to sponsor their own trips. We win medals for the country, but there is none to look after our needs.”
Trained by his school coach Gokulanand Mishra, Hamdan gives full credit to hard work. “I was confident of my win because I had practised long hours with my coach,” the teenager, who comes from a middle class family, said.
Coach Mishra said he was proud of his ward and hoped to see him win more medals in the future. “Hamdan is talented and hardworking. I have great expectations from him.”
Jharkhand Wushu Association secretary Shivendu Dubey, who accompanied the national squad to Singapore as manager, said: “It is sad that the boys had to pay for the trip. Neither the Wushu Association of India nor did we have the money. The government should support sports associations that are suffering from acute funds crunch.”
Hamdan’s success has brought smiles on many faces. Managing director of Govind Vidyalaya B.D. Sharma, principal Sunita Sinha, proctor Swati Nath, vice-principals Krishna Modak and Molly Majumdar and class teacher Tilottma Singh congratulated the tenth grader.
The journey, even if arduous, does not stop here for Hamdan. “I want to pursue a serious career in wushu, a sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts,” the boy said.