Samriddhi Ghosh, 9 Year-old Indian Prodigy in Rhythmic Gymnastics Bags Another Gold Medal And Sets Her Sights on the 2024 Olympics
Petite and graceful, Samriddhi Ghosh is an acknowledged prodigy in Rhythmic Gymnastics at the tender age of nine. She has won numerous accolades for herself and the country at international, national and district level tournaments. At the Queens Cup International Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition, 2016 held in Hongkong, while competing with older, more experienced participants from several other countries she won medals in individual ribbon set and also in group ball set, besides being awarded certificate of Merit for All-round Gymnast. In her rope and hoop sets she obtained certificates of Merit for grace as well as flexibility.
Samriddhi has won Gold in rope apparatus and Silver in All-round Gymnast in her category at the Maharashtra Rhythmic Gymnastics State Championship. She won Gold in all 3 events, clubs, rope and freehand, and was also awarded Best All-round Gymnast Medal at the first Rhythmic Gymnastics Interschool competition organized by ‘Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA)’. She continued her winning spree in the 8th VIVA Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition and won Gold medals in both hoop and ball apparatus besides being awarded Best Rhythmic Gymnast Trophy for her achievements and being top scorer in her age category.
Samriddhi sustained and boosted her form and performance in this year’s 9th Mumbai District Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship, Mumbai from 24th to 26th February where she won Gold medal in her freehand routine followed by Bronze in her clubs routine. She is arguably the most prominent and budding Rhythmic Gymnast who trains at BPCA’s Rhythmic Club in Mumbai, under the guidance and coaching of Akshata Shete, well accomplished and decorated International Rhythmic Gymnast, National RG Judge, Coach and Shiv Chattrapati Awardee.
Samriddhi is passionate about Rhythmic Gymnastics and catches on to complex moves faster than girls much older than her, displaying incredible coordination. She started her training with her coach at the tender age of 5 and soon started to show results while using her flexible body to perform difficult formations called elements, turns and balances. Looking at Samriddhi’s growing interest and accolades in the sport coupled with her agility and flexibility, her parents after consulting her Indian coach, took her for advance training to the US. She trained with well accomplished and Elite level Olympic Coaches like Galyna Gorbis (Silver medalist at 2005 World Championships), Natalia Godunko (2 X Olympian and World Champion Legend) and Alina Maksymenko (2 X Olympian and World champion Bronze Medalist).
Rhythmic Gymnastics is perhaps the most beautiful sport in the world, combining as it does elements of ballet, gymnastics, theatrical dance and graceful movements. It first appeared as an independent sport in the beginning of the 19th century and was officially included in the Olympics for the first time at the Los Angeles 1984 Games. Performed with Apparatus like Ball, Clubs, Ribbon, Rope and Hoop, a rhythmic gymnast must perfect all her movements and make the routine look effortless during the 90 seconds timeframe. Scoring is a complex affair and participants bear that in mind.
Samriddhi is dedicated to winning International and Olympic medals for India in Rhythmic Gymnastics, “I am ready and willing to work hard, train and achieve my goals. I will continue giving my sport everything I’ve got, and this will see me win a gold medal in gymnastics at the Olympic Games. Later I want to travel to every part of India to teach and promote this only all-women Olympic sport to as many young girls as possible.”
In the current year, she will participate in Angel Cup in Malaysia; Xizi Cup in Hangzhou, China; Queens Cup in Hongkong, besides many other National and State-level Championships. Samriddhi also performed special hoop and ribbon routine for TV channels IBN7 and Maharashtra One during the 9th Mumbai District Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship. The YouTube link of the Maharashtra One coverage featuring Samriddhi performing hoop: https://www.youtube.com/ shared?ci=pdmqjQETPWA. Her Instagram: samriddhi_gymnast
Her coach, Akshata Shete adds, “Samriddhi started training with me at the age of 5. She was always a very quiet and sincere student. She enjoyed watching the older girls train and always dreamt of being in the older group. I am happy that she is still a very dedicated, hard working and patient gymnast. She never complains but practices continuously till she gets it right. By the time she was 8 she had already become a state and national level champion in the Maharashtra team. She was my very 1st student to go abroad for training when she went to Los Angeles for a 2 month intensive summer camp. After her return she was excited to learn even more. She is always leaping and cart-wheeling around. I can’t even imagine how Samriddhi at such a young age could see what she wants to achieve in her sports career. It’s like she lives rhythmic gymnastics. I feel sure that Samriddhi in the near future will represent our country and make us all proud. I feel proud to have a student like her and I hope to see her at her peak at the Olympics in 2024.”
Samriddhi’s parents, Hina & Sandipan Ghosh add, “She dreams and lives gymnastics all the time. At home too, she is never idle; either she is tossing her legs high up in air or balancing and practicing her elements in front of the mirror. But behind the glamour of this sport lies the rigor and training. The gymnasts often go through painful, exhausting strengthening exercises, kicking, extending, holding their bodies in different positions, trying to target and strengthen every muscle. Bruises dot their backs and legs and dance shorts are drenched in sweat daily post the arduous training routine. Samriddhi trains for at least 15 to 18 hours a week. But we are very happy that she follows her dream.”
Across the country, there are gymnastics hubs in Patiala, Jalandhar and Amritsar in Punjab, Allahabad and Agra in Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad in Telangana, Kolkata in West Bengal and Agartala in Tripura. Maharashtra has about 15 gymnastics institutes, mainly in Mumbai, Thane, Dombivali, Pune, Marathwada, Aurangabad and Amravati that impart training in all 5 genres like, artistic, rhythmic, trampoline, aerobic and acrobatic. Rhythmic gymnastics has gained considerable popularity in India in the last 3 years, and especially so after the 2016 Olympic Games. Apart from the various health benefits like achieving total body fitness, co-ordination, sense of rhythm and confidence, gymnastics also helps a great deal in building concentration, strength and stamina.
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