Shillong, Apr 27: “Through adversity to the stars” is an old motto that Meghalaya kickboxer Hameshaniah Suiam might consider adopting personally.

The six-time national champion, who has also represented India internationally, only got into the sport after he was bullied as a child.

“I was bullied when I was younger and my father got tired of hearing from me everyday about the bullying, so he thought I should go into martial arts,” Suiam told All India Radio in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday.

Those lessons in self-defence in his village of Shangpung have taken the youngster far and has led him to becoming one of the star athletes from Meghalaya.

“Now whenever I compete my family and everyone in the village are cheering me on,” he said.

Suiam rose as high as number 28 in the world back in 2017, but has seen his ranking slip a bit, though he’s still in the top 50. His ranking wasn’t helped last year when he couldn’t secure funding in time to take part in the 9th Diamond World Cup in Russia.

“Sometimes things don’t happen the way you want, but I’m not someone who looks into the past. I look ahead and I’m hopeful and determined,” Suiam said.

Currently also pursuing a bachelor’s degree, the kickboxer will be heading to Allahabad early next month for an army entrance exam. Competing for Services, who have produced many of India’s top athletes, would be a boon, he feels, as they have the best facilities and training, which would give him an ideal environment to further develop as an athlete.

You can catch the full interview with Suiam on ‘In a League of Their Own’ on the North Eastern Service of All India Radio on Sunday at 7:05PM on 100.1 FM, DTH and online.

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