Saturday, October 18, 2008


Thokchom Nanao Singh reveals how he defied strong opposition from his father and later winning his confidence to pursue the sport

Suhrid Barua, Pune Mirror, October 18, 2008

Winning laurels is always a special thing. And for 48-kg gold medal-winning light flyweight boxer Thokchom Nanao Singh it is super-special because it means a lot for the Manipuri as he desperately wanted to make a mark in the ring for his ailing father.For my dadNanao's father Totobi Singh met with a jeep accident long back and has his left leg paralysed for years now. So it was a little surprise to see Nanao dedicate the title romp to his father.

"My father can't move around on his own because of his paralysed left leg. One of my brothers is away from home working in the army, while my elder brother Shyman is a farmer and it is who takes care of them in my native village Khujama in Bishnupur district," observed an emotional Nanao.

Football to boxing

The fleet-footed southpaw used to be a football player before he switched to boxing. He had to weather much opposition from his father over his choice to pick up boxing. "When I wanted to take up boxing, my father was totally against him. So when he didn't allow me to opt for boxing, I turned defiant and refused to go to school. "Then, one day my father met my boxing coach and asked him about my skills. Only when he was convinced that I could make it big in boxing, he started to fully back me to pursue boxing. I dedicate this gold medal to my father. He deserves it. He has done a lot for me," he recounts his early days in boxing.

Jubilant dad

Father Totobi Singh was in seventh heaven." Today is a big day for our family. Nanao has made us proud. I saw the bout on television and ever since the news of his gold win trickled in, relatives and well-wishers have made a beeline to our house. We are throwing a big get-together in our house tonight," Nanao's father barely able to hide his elation.

He talked about those days when he vehemently opposed Nanao's desire to take up boxing. "Yes, I still remember those days even today. I was fully convinced that my son has all the makings of a good boxer when I met his coach," he reminisces Nanao's early days.Nanao senior now wants his son to give an equally eye-catching performance at the upcoming World Junior Boxing Championships to be held in Mexico later this month. "I want him to get a medal there. Then we will have an even more bigger feast in our house," he added.

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