By Caoilte de Barra
The 2022 Youth World Championships are fast approaching, and teams are currently gearing up to represent their nation at an international level. One nation making the Youth World Championships debut is India.
MMA India does incredible work to develop and grow the sport from a grassroots level. The federation actively hosts national tournaments, seminars, and courses.
At a junior and senior level, India sends a large squad every time, most recently sending twelve athletes to the World Championships in January. They have now formed a youth team for the first time that will compete at the Youth World Championships next month.
Athletes were selected based on their performances at the 5th MMA India National Championships, which was held from May 19 – 22 in Neemuch Madhya Pradesh State. The athletes selected to represent India are:
Aarya Choudhary [Youth A Atomweight 47.7 kg]
Ayeera Chishti [Youth A Strawweight 52.2 kg]
Aranjot Kaur [Youth A Bantamweight 61.2 kg]
Palak Nag [Youth A Welterweight 77.1 kg]
Praggya P Khanikar [Youth B 48 kg]
Akshita Shrivastava [Youth B 57 kg]
Jagvi Pardeshi [Youth C 37 kg]
Avani Naithani [Youth C 40 kg]
Durgashree Gejjiganahalli Murthy [Youth C 40 kg]
Theeksha Bharuni [Youth C 57 kg]
Tarshit Yalamanchili [Youth A Strawweight 52.2 kg]
Viwin Nithyanand [Youth A Bantamweight 61.2 kg]
Chirag Sankar [Youth A Featherweight 65.8 kg]
Khan Hamza Jamil [Youth B 67 kg]
Zaid Bhat [Youth B 72 kg]
Aryan Raj [Youth C 57 kg]
The federation is excited to send its first-ever team to the event and believes they can perform highly. MMA India President Sharif Bapu detailed how important it is for the federation to have a presence at the Youth World Championships.
“The Youth Worlds are important for Team India as this would be the first time our team participates in the championships. In 2019 we had visa issues with the embassy, and in 2021 because of the Pandemic, we were not allowed to participate as the second wave had hit us badly. But now, leaving the past behind, the young team are geared up with their training, hard work & efforts so that we have many Podium finishes. The team coaches are all putting in their hard work and seeing to that Team India makes a mark in the championship.”
India always impresses when they compete on the IMMAF stage, and their maiden youth championships appearance is highly anticipated.
The 2022 Youth World Championships will be streamed live from Abu Dhabi at immaf.tv from the 17th to the 20th of August 2022.