by Disha PawarWushu, a martial art discipline became quite a popular sport in India in no time. Thanks to this bright young player from Jammu, Surya Bhanu Pratap Singh, who ditched the routine and dared to be different to make a name for himself unlike the rest. While there have been Wushu champions before him, Bhanu with his historic bronze medal feat at the Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia etched his name in history by becoming the first Asiad medallist from India in the said martial art event. FistoSports got in touch with this chirpy 24 year athlete to discuss the nature of sport in India and Bhanu’s life graph with regards to Wushu. He was quick to surprise us by saying had it not been for the police beatings he would have loved to become a ‘Don’. As ironic as it may seem to him today, Bhanu finds himself donning the khakee and keeping a stern vigilant against any wrongdoing. [caption id="attachment_12955" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Surya Bhanu Pratap Singh became the first ever from J&K to win medal in Asian Games.[/caption] Contrary to media reports that claim Wushu to be a budding sport in J&K, Bhanu put light on the popularity of sport in the country, “Wushu is actually quite popular outside of J&K. Other states like Delhi, Haryana have a lot more exposure in terms of training and competition, but it’s picking up now in our state. Much of the credit along with the chief coach Kuldeep Handoo, also goes to players like us who have been winning laurels not just on the national level but also international. Kids look up to us and get encouraged to train better.”
Although like many other sports in India, Wushu might be one of the lesser known sports, but its popularity world over remains unparalleled, so much so that a professional fighter can become a millionaire with just one fight.When asked Bhanu about the monetary benefits, he very excitedly said, “Of course. There is good money in this sport. A professional player can rake in anywhere between Rs 2 crore to 100 crore for a fight, depending on his stature. I will also start preparing to reach that level. I have a long way to go.” Having clinched another consecutive bronze at the recently concluded World Cup, Bhanu is looking to better his medal color at the Asian Championships scheduled to be held in India next year.
Fistosports wishes this young star the very best for his future and we hope he keeps doing India proud so more youngsters from different states get attracted to lesser known sports like this and make them a household name.
“I am preparing to give a tough fight at the Asian Championships next year. The preparations have already begun. I don’t want to settle for anything less than Gold this time.”