On August 26, 2022, Linthoi Chanambam, a 16-year-old from Manipur, made judo history by becoming the first Indian ever to win a championship. At the World Cadet Championships in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, she defeated Brazilian competitor Reis Bianca to win the gold medal in the 57kg division.
“I feel fantastic, in a word. It is an amazing feeling. At a virtual media event, Chanambam said, “I feel like I did something from the bottom of my heart, and here is the product.” She said, “I began judo in 2014, and in October of 2017, I entered the Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS) in Bellari. With so much help from everyone over the past five years, my life has really changed.
Linthoi Chanambam, Credited her Father
Chanambam acknowledged that without her father, she might not have achieved her current level of accomplishment, but she gave him credit for it. “The academy I previously belonged to before joining IIS was only a short drive from my house.” Therefore, my dad was constantly with me when I practised. “I always wanted to do a sport like Judo from a very young age,” she continued. In truth, I also enjoy football and boxing. But there were numerous judo schools close to my home. That’s what drew me to this sport the most; my family has supported me.
Young Chanambam’s victory was celebrated not just in India, but also in a little Georgian village. Chanambam spent the first nine months of the global lockdown brought on by the Covid-19 epidemic trapped in Akhmeta, a Georgian suburb with a population of about 8,000. It is the hometown of her coach, Mamuka Kizilashvii, a judo hotbed that has produced two Olympic champions. Chanambam talked about how she and her coach’s extended family turned it into their second home. “The entire globe was going through a difficult moment, just like it was for us. Even though I lived far from my parents and other family members, coach Kizilashvii’s family made sure that I was always happy, according to Chanambam.
Chanambam, who is 16 years old, has already received many honours. Before winning the Cadet World Tournament, Chanambam first won gold at the sub-junior national championship in 2018. She also took home gold at the Chandigarh National Championships in 2021. In July 2022, she won yet another gold at the Asian Cadet and Junior Judo Championships.