I want to win a medal at the 2024 Paris Olympics: Shaurya Chakravarti

Having recently qualified for the 2022 World Championships, Taekwondo athlete Shaurya Chakravarti is training hard to make his dreams a reality. Currently training with Peace Taekwondo Academy, he has previously won the silver medal for India at the Fujairah Open Taekwondo Championship in the Junior Male, Under 55kg weight category and is now setting his sights on the Taekwondo World Championships as well as the Paris Olympics.

In this exclusive interview, Shaurya Chakravarti speaks about his journey so far, special achievements in his career, overcoming challenges, importance of mental health and his future goals.

Q 1) Tell us about your Taekwondo journey, how were you introduced to the sport and what made you take it up professionally?

I started Taekwondo in 2015 but before that, I used to do Karate since 2013. I have been interested in martial arts ever since I was a kid. I used to watch a lot of martial arts movies which inspired me to take it up.  After 1 year of practising my family said that fighting is not good and they wanted me to start playing cricket instead. In 2014 they forced me to start playing cricket but after 2-3 days I realised that this is not for me as I wasn't enjoying it. Then in 2015 I stubbornly asked my family to let me join Taekwondo. Within 8 months I won the gold medal at the state championship. 

Q 2) What are the most special achievements in your career and why?

My most special achievement was winning the silver medal at the Fujairah Open in 2020 which was a ranking event. I have now qualified for the World Championship 2022.

Q 3) What are the biggest challenges that you have overcome in your career?

Recently, just one week before a ranking tournament I lost my father. That time was very challenging because I was very disturbed mentally. I was preparing for the championship when I got the news so I had to go home. I just stayed for one day and came back to train as I wanted to go for the championship to win a medal. That was a difficult period but I still went out there and won a gold medal.

Also read: I want to inspire girls to pursue combat sports: Sonia Bhardwaj

Q 4) Who were some of your Taekwondo idols that you have been inspired by?

I personally didn’t look up to any particular players as I tend to watch Taekwondo videos and pick up their skills, which I can implement in my game. I hope that these skills help me become a better athlete and also help achieve my ultimate goal.

Q 5) How do you prepare yourself before the tournament? How important is mental strength to compete at the highest level?

When certain championships are coming near, athletes plan accordingly as the coaches create set routines for both mental and physical activities. We as players are mentally determined to win medals for our country. In Taekwondo you have to be mentally strong because you don’t know how strong your opponent is, so you have to be mentally prepared for every possibility.

Q 6) What are your future goals and how do you plan to achieve them?

The short term goal right now is to win a medal at the Taekwondo World Championships and become the first Indian to do so. My long term goal is to qualify and win a medal at the 2024 Paris Olympics.


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