India's Linthoi wins historic gold in judo world championship

Gold medallist, Linthoi Chanambam (second from left) of India poses with the other medallists at the World Cadet Judo Championship in Sarajevo. Photo: Twitter/ @Judo

New Delhi: India's Linthoi Chanambam claimed a historic gold at the World Cadet Judo Championship in Sarajevo, becoming the first from the country to win a medal in the tournament across any age-group.

The 15-year-old from Manipur prevailed over Brazil's Bianca Reis in the final to finish on top of the podium in the women's 57kg contest at the Arena Hotel Hills.

"I really don't have the words and cannot explain how I am feeling right now. I only know that I'm very happy with this victory, and I hope to build on this," said Linthoi, after her feat.

In July, she won a gold and opened India's medal account on the third day of the Asian Cadet & Junior Judo Championship 2022 at Bangkok.

Linthoi claimed her gold medal in the 63kg category of the cadet event.

One of India's brightest prospects on the Judo mat, Linthoi first showed glimpses of her talent when she won gold at the Sub-junior National Championships in 2018.

A part of the IIS' judo programme since 2017, she has been on several exposure trips under the guidance of head coach Mamuka Kizilashvili, including camps at the University of Tsukuba, in Japan, Georgia and most recently in Bosnia and Herzegovina ahead of the World Cadet Championships.

In November last year, Linthoi struck gold at the National Championships in Chandigarh, followed by another at the Asian Cadet and Junior Judo Championships, in Bangkok, in July.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) took note of the young athlete's remarkable achievement on Friday.

"LINTHOI WINS's 1st EVER GOLD AT WORLDS. Reigning Asian Champion Linthoi Chanambam (W-57kg) defeat's Bianca Reis 1-0 to win at Cadet World C'ships 2022. She scripts history to become Champion by winning 1st ever medal for India at the Worlds across any age-group," the SAI tweeted.

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