Updated February 27th, 2024 at 23:43 IST

KIUG: Alson goes on to win men’s discus throw gold

The lack of a certified coach did not deter discus thrower Oinam Alson Singh’s confidence of becoming the first gold medallist from Manipur University.

KIUG Update | Image:Special Arrangement
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The lack of a certified coach did not deter discus thrower Oinam Alson Singh’s confidence of becoming the first gold medallist from Manipur University at the 4th edition of the Khelo India University Games 2023, Ashtalakshmi.

Alson, who took up the sport seriously towards the end of 2021 has so far been competing without a coach and banks on the advice of his uncles, who guide him about weight training and techniques of throwing.

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“This is my first Khelo India University Games appearance and I’m delighted to win a gold here. I didn’t know that I’m the first from Manipur University to win gold. I have been supported by a lot of people but never had a professional coach, so it feels all the more fulfilling”, he said.

An injury in 2022 almost kept him out of action for nearly the entire season but he came back strongly at the AFI Open Nationals in Bengaluru last year. Alson’s performance in the tournament also earned him an offer from the Indian Navy for a sports officer’s post.

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“I was confident of a good performance at the KIUG as I have been part of podium finishes recently. In the AFI Open Nationals in Bengaluru, I got my personal best of 53.99m but finished fourth, then I came up with 53.55m to bag a silver at last year’s Under-23 national championship followed by the National Games in Goa, where I threw 52m”, he said.

Hailing from Thoubal district in the state, Alson came up with a best effort of 51.24m to take the top spot on the KIUG podium. But the thrower conceded that he doesn’t possess the best of technical skills needed to succeed in the discipline.

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“I’m not that skillful as I don’t have a certified coach. All I depend on is the guidance received from my uncles. They tip me on weight training and some basics, but there’s none to work on and focus on my technique and those little adjustments needed in my game”, he said.

Alson received his initial training in the sport during his stint in Kerala, where he spent three years to complete his 10th before moving to Bengaluru for the next two years. He then moved to Guwahati to complete his graduation and finally started taking the sport seriously. On completion of his graduation, he moved back home but there were no proper coaches to take his game forward and despite that Alson never stopped.

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“When I started off, I failed in my first three-four competitions, and would miss out after the first three throws. In the inter-university competition, I couldn’t reach the final. I took that as a positive to improve, and learn from those throwers, implement those learnings during my training sessions.”

“My uncles monitor my throwing sessions. They don’t have certificates but they know a bit about the game. I used to throw with power only, my technique is not so good. It’s very hard to stay consistent”, the 22-year-old said.

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Published February 27th, 2024 at 23:43 IST