Mysore/Mysuru: Three Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes aged 13 years — H.R. Theeksha Bharuni, G.M. Durgashree and Aryan Raj — of the Academy of Martial Science (AMS), Mysuru, represented India at the MMA Youth World Championship at Abu Dhabi between Aug. 16 and 20.
G.M. Durgashree, daughter of Murthy and Shoba from Mysuru, secured a first ever medal for the country and State in the history of youth MMA. She fought three hard pitched bouts against Tetiana Khaneko, Valentyna Khanenko of Ukraine and fellow Indian Avani to secure her spot on the podium.
H.R. Theeksha Bharuni, daughter of Dr. Ravi and Nandini, missed medal by a whisker fighting against Bridget Costner of USA and gave a tough fight to Lucia Ford of Wales and secured a walk over against Myra of Angola. Aryan Raj, son of Nagesh and Sindhu, put up a brave fight against Ivanko Kroslak of Bulgaria, Kona Lane of USA and lost his medal-deciding bout to reigning world champion Illia Konko of Ukraine.
They are all trained at the AMS by Kru. Vikram and coaches Kiran, Kavya and Samarth.
Team India returned with 4 bronze and 1 silver medal.
About 500 participants from over 42 countries took part in this mega event hosted by International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF).
Shariff Bapu, President of MMA India, led the 25-member Indian contingent, while Kru. Vikram took the mantle of the Head Coach for Team India.
MMA India General Secretary Prasad Gaitonde, Vice-President Kevin Alfred David, AMMAK Senior Vice-President Kru. Kumar and former Mysuru Mayor Purushotham, who is also the senior advisor for AMS, congratulated the team.