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Updated January 24th, 2024 at 12:38 IST

KIYG 23: UP long jumper Mohd Tauseef finally his getting career back after mother's accident

A week after Uttar Pradesh's Mohd Tauseef joined SAI STC at Bareilly in 2020, his mother fractured both legs and injured her hands after falling from terrace.

Khelo India Youth Games: Mohd Tauseef
Khelo India Youth Games: Mohd Tauseef | Image:KIYG
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A week after Uttar Pradesh long jumper Mohd Tauseef joined the SAI STC at Bareilly in 2020, his mother fractured both her legs and injured her hands after falling from the terrace at their home in Pratapgarh. With his father away on a job as a driver in Saudi Arabia, the then 15-year-old had to rush back home and put his career on hold.

Back home, Tauseef had no facilities to train and had lost all hopes of being back on the field. Once his mother recovered, he gradually restarted training at his native place after almost a year.

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On Tuesday night, Tauseef cleared a distance of 7.06m to win a bronze medal at the Khelo India Youth Games 2023 and was understandably elated with his performance.

“I was there (SAI centre) merely for a week or 10 days when I got the news of my mother’s accident. My father was also abroad, and it was difficult for my younger brothers to take care of mother. So, I decided to leave behind my career and training to be with my family,” said Tauseef, who has two elder and two younger brothers.

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“Training wasn’t even in the mind at that time, I wanted to support my family. I did not want to give up but due to lack of training, my performance took a backseat,” he added.

By the time his mother recovered, Tauseef’s father had also returned to India and had taken up a job in Mumbai and encouraged him to restart training.

In fact, it was his father who saw spark in him as a long jumper and had made him switch from kabaddi to athletics back in 2019.

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“I started off playing kabaddi, and I enjoyed the sport very much. But in 2019, when my dad came home for vacation, we had a local sports competition during ‘Nagpanchami mela’. My father was very impressed with my skills in long jump, and he insisted that I continue with the sport,” he said.

“From there, the journey started. I appeared in the UP State U-14 competition, and was selected for the SAI training centre,” he added.

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Tauseef struggled to find the rhythm again for quite a while and it was only last year that things again began to look up for the 18-year-old. He won the Sub-Junior Nationals bronze last year and backed it up with another bronze medal in the School Games in December 2023, which qualified him for the Khelo India Youth Games here.

“The two medals helped me regain the belief in my abilities as a sportsman. My family has always been very supportive and this bronze (at the KIYG 2023) is my career’s third bronze,” he said.

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After a hat trick of bronze-medal performances, the 18-year-old now wants to break the trend, and promised to change the colour of the medal once he steps into the U-20 circuit.

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Published January 24th, 2024 at 12:38 IST

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