After achieving the distinction of winning two golds for Karnataka at the 4th Children Cup and 10th Mini National Fencing Championship in girls Epee (U-12) category, teenager Sejal Gulia has now made the entire country proud by winning gold at the Thailand Open international fencing meet.
Daughter of two army officers, Colonel Yash Raj Gulia and his wife Captain (retired) Ambika Gulia, the emerging golden girl of Indian fencing originally hails from Jhajjar in Haryana. While that state is renowned for its sporting talent, the facilities for less famous sports like fencing are much better in her adopted hometown of Bengaluru.
The talent that this young powerhouse possesses was recognised well before this latest achievement of hers. When Sejal bagged the brace of golds in 4th Children Cup and 10th Mini National Fencing Championship, many followers of the game noticed the great qualities of precision, concentration, quickness, sharpness and agility present in her.
It was at that time that she began to be taken note of and thought of as a real special talent rather than just another person in the sport. One wonders whether she would follow the same path as another Haryanvi who moves to South India for training – Saina Nehwal – and achieve success at the highest levels.
While burdening the young girl with such expectations at this early stage of her journey may be unjust and unfair, there is no reason not to be optimistic about her future. It is, after all Sejal's dedication and excellence in this sport which forced her mother to stay back in Bengaluru even after her father received a posting in Arunachal Pradesh.
By winning this gold in Thailand, she has not only vindicated the trust of her parents but also the faith shown in her ability by the coaches who train her. An army man's daughter from Haryana, after training in Bengaluru, achieving sporting glory for India, what could be more inspiring!