Asian Boxing Championship gold medalist in the 81kg, Pooja Rani has revealed that she didn’t want a lengthy recovery from her disastrous shoulder injury in 2017, and hence opted for physiotherapy over surgery. The 28-year-old defeated world champion Wang Lina in the final on Friday in Bangkok.
After a three-year absence from the international level, which saw Pooja Rani suffering consecutive injuries - first a burn and then a muscle tear - the Haryana girl announced her return at the continental stage by winning the gold medal bout on Friday.
It was an unfortunate evening in 2016 when Pooja had burned her right hand while bursting crackers on Diwali, which had kept her out of practice for almost a year. As if that wasn’t enough, it was followed by a debilitating shoulder injury with many assuming her career was over.
"In 2016, I burnt my hand while bursting Diwali crackers. The right hand was massively affected. I underwent a surgery and it took me nearly seven to eight months to heal. The entire recovery process lasted nearly a year," said Pooja, reported TOI.
"Then at the end of 2017, such was my luck that I met with a disastrous shoulder injury. The doctors found there was a labrum tear and told me that I will be out of the sport for a considerable length of time. But I didn't go for surgery because that would have meant a lengthy lay-off. I decided on physiotherapy and thankfully it worked for me. During those days, I was all alone with no backing," the boxer added.
However, Pooja has made a fairytale comeback on the world stage now and she would be adding to India’s list of hopefuls ahead of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 next year.
So far, Pooja has won a gold medal in the 12th South Asian Games held in Shillong, apart from the one on Friday, silver medals at the 6th Asian Women Boxing championship held in Ulaanbaatar, and the Arafura Games held in Darwin. She has also won bronze medals in the 7th Asian Women Boxing championship, Wulanchabu, 17th Asian Games held in Incheon, and China open Boxing in Guiyang, among the major ones.
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