Meet Ishaan Kanojia, A 17 years old Judo Gold Medalist from Mumbai
“Your desires are only true when you don’t lose your persistence towards it and trust me, the truest dreams are achievable.’- Ishaan Kanojia.
Ishaan Kanojia is a 17 years old Judo National Gold Medalist. He is born and bought up in Mumbai and started playing professional Judo at the tender age of five. When I first saw him performing at the U-17 National School games, It was justified that he is the epitome of strength and power. He has dedicated his life to Judo, despite being a topper in academics too. “I was around two and a half or three years old when I first wore a Judo dress and just entered on a mat. I used to play around on the mat. When I was 4 years old, I lost the first fight. I didn't cry also. I mean, I didn't know anything about winning and losing. After that, when I played the next year, I won a gold medal. Once I got that gold, I started maintaining it every year.”
It wasn’t that easy though for Ishaan to shine with glory. He has had his own share of setbacks through his journey. “It was in 2012, first-year eligibility for Nationals where I played and lost my gold. While everybody was congratulating me for getting a silver medal, I was crying that I lost my gold. That incident helped me transform myself.” Since then, he has dedicated his life towards Judo and has been consistently getting gold medals in National competitions. The techniques that he uses are quick and commendable. The game certainly demands your 100% focus towards it. He is trained totally by his father, Suresh Kanojia who himself is a Judo Champion.“My dad is a Commonwealth champion and Judo is his passion, so he couldn't ever leave it. His passion is so great about it that even today, he is teaching. I started playing Judo because I personally started enjoying the sport.”
It’s on point when they say ‘Nothing great is achieved without pain!’ Judo is a game where you might hurt yourself and Ishaan has fought back despite injuries.
“Last year, there was 'Khelo India Khelo' competition. What had happened was that in my first fight itself I injured myself but It didn't come to my notice. As soon as the body got cool, I started feeling something in between my chest. After some time, the pain was just increasing. Then we realized that I've ruptured my ribs. We went to the doctors over there and they said that, I shouldn't play the finals. But no, I don't care. I have to play and I will play. One moment came such that the opponent lifted me two-three times and that's when I got the pain. So he got the opportunity and he won. It's fine as it's a game. He took the opportunity of it. In the final fight, the desire that I had for Gold, that has to come out now. It's desperation to get a gold. Went with that spirit and I won a gold over there. Finally, I achieved my first National gold there.” The game requires a lot of talent and forcus. It deserves respect. “Judo for India has a very bright future and upcoming future. 'Khelo India' is a very good initiative by the Government. The day any Judo player in India gets a medal in Olympic, that day Judo's awareness will change altogether. My future goals are a bit unrealistic but similar. If I believe that I can do it, maybe one-day god willing I will be able to do it, which would be to achieve a Gold in Olympics."
We, at The Tribal Box salutes such heroes and hopes that Ishaan acheive his olympic dreams.