The 2021 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Kitakyushu, Japan, starts on October 18, and India's Sraddha Talekar would be in the fray in the competition. The 28-year-old specializes in the uneven bars category and would at least be looking to make it to the final of her event.
Sraddha Talekar could be the next big thing in Indian gymnastics. The national championships silver medallist started her international career at the 2019 World Challenge Cup in Osijek, Croatia, and now will be taking part at the 2021 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan, starting October 18.
But the ride hasn't been smooth for her at all. She has had to overcome a foot issue to be where she is today, according to a report on Olympics.com.
"In her toes, one of her joint bones is bigger in size by default, it still is the same. We have worked on her lower-body but we cannot do much about the bone," said Pravin Dhage, her coach.
"If we undergo surgery then she will have to sit out for a while. We don't want to take that chance now since she is 28. We have done rehab and strengthening exercises and due to the bone there's no problem in her technique," he added.
It was back in 2016 that Talekar started to train with Pravin Dhage in Pune. Her pet event being uneven bars, the duo worked on her execution and difficultly level score. "The execution score is in the hands of the athlete and we have improved that. Her strong point is uneven bars and we figured out the places where she can take the lead," Dhage said. "We have improved her difficulty score and that has helped her feature in the Indian team consistently."
The coach added, "She has a bit of ankle issue due to her previous injury and that is why we didn't pay attention to vaulting or floor much. We are hoping that she qualifies at least for the final on uneven bars (at World Championships). It is her biggest strength. She is also good with her rotational skills."