Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Dewas (Madhya Pradesh) [India], September 28 (ANI): A 17-year-old girl from Madhya Pradesh's Dewas district has completed a remarkable journey from a small village to the international stage, securing a silver medal in the Girl's Dinghy - ILCA4 event at the 19th Asian Games. The girl, Neha Thakur, secured a total of 27 points after 11 races, clinching India's first medal in the sailing event at the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, on Tuesday. 17-year-old Thakur is originally from Amlataj village in Dewas district, but she currently resides in Bhopal.

While pursuing her B.Com, she trained at the Water Sports Academy in Bhopal to prepare for the Asian Games and was selected in 2017.

She comes from a family with two younger brothers, her parents, her father working as a farmer, and her mother as a housewife. Neha's younger brothers are currently pursuing their studies.

"Neha made our country and state proud. She was selected at the Water Sports Academy Bhopal during the trials in 2017. Neha studied up to the 8th grade while staying at her maternal uncle's house in Indore. Afterward, she returned to the village. Then, Neha attended Saraswati Shishu Mandir herefor a year, during which she developed an interest in sailing," Neha's father, Mukesh Thakur said while speaking to ANI. Neha was inspired to pursue this sport by her cousin, Vishal Singh Thakur, who was previously involved in water sailing and is currently serving in the Navy. Vishal encouraged her to take up sailing, her father added.

Neha's mother, Reena Thakur, expressed the family's joy when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah congratulated Neha for her achievements in the sailing event at the 19th Asian Games.

"It felt wonderful when I saw PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah congratulating her for the Asian Games medal. We will warmly welcome her back when she returns," Reena Thakur said while speaking to ANI. Notably, Neha had participated in several National Games before the Asian Games, securing both gold and silver medals.

She also won a bronze medal in the 2022 Asian Championship and another medal in the European Championship. Following that, she participated in two World Championships, where she performed well even though she didn't secure a medal. (ANI)

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