Thursday, 2 June 2016

Meghana Gundlapally's Journey @ 8th Senior Rhythmic Gymnastics Asian Championships 2016

Setting the Stage for Future

Happy to share that I Official represented India at 8th Senior Rhythmic Gymnastics Asian Championships held at Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 8th to 10th May 2016. Planning is the key for any best output, so my preparation for this Game was done in advance with anticipation. 


To prepare for the Asian Championships, I planned to get training at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. We have planned with my coach in India Krupali Madam and mom.  We reached out to Uzbekistan Gymnastics Federation for supporting my training with the support of Indian Embassy and whom we know through Capt.Veeresh Uncle who is our family friend. Tashkent is the closest place for India. Its just about 2.30 hours journey. So, I landed  and I was assigned a coach in Tashkent who was Maya , she is such a beautiful and talented lady who  supported me in everything. She saw my routines and suggested some changes and helped me to practice. Just before the competition, I had to visit India for few days to participate in School Games in Hyderabad between 26-29th April  2016. I was happy that I returned being an overall champion when I left for Tashkent. Its great to have joined our Indian Team when they arrived for the competition. The formalities of Accredition and to submit the required form and CD's were done before the Day.
Meghana : Clubs @ Tashkent

7th May 2016  : Podium Training 

Today was the official podium training. We as Team India was allotted time was 2:40 pm to 3:00 PM. During this time we would get to do our routines on the competition carpet along with music. Maya was busy these few days as she was one of the volunteer in the competition, so she assigned Nasiba an other coach to support,who is also one of the finest ladies I ever met. Since I needed time to warm up and practice my routines before the podium training, Nasiba had asked me to come to the stadium at 12:00 in the noon.

There was an issue of my accreditation card for entry into the stadium. Finally when we realised that it was missing, Maya went to the federation office to get  other one for me. I got to the stadium before the rest of the Indian team ,so since Nasiba asked me to start at 12:00 I did. By the time the rest of the team arrived I was done with my warm up so I greeted them and then went on to do my stretching.

When it was time for the podium training I started with my hoop routine followed by ball,clubs,and then at last I did the ribbon routine. My Hoop and ball were not as good as I hoped it would go but clubs and ribbon were better. We had some extra time so I repeated my ribbon routine. Before finishing off I did all the risks of all my apparatus. Once the podium training was over I went and got my apparatus checked. This is done at every major international competition to make sure that the apparatus are according to the given specifications. I took rest for the rest of the day since my competition was starting the next day .

8th May 2016 : Ball & Hoop 

Meghana : Beginning with Ball Routine
This day there were four groups in total. Group A, B, C & D. I was in the Group B. Today the order was group B followed by group A,D and C. There was group competition followed by the individuals which started at around 3:45 PM therefore Nasiba asked me to come at 1:00. I started with my warm up and stretching followed by my 9 difficulties without the apparatus. After this I did my hoop routine with out music and then my ball routine without music. My start order was Ball and then Hoop. By this time the rest of the Indian team had arrived  as their competition was in group A and D which was after mine.About a half hour before my competition had started I changed into the brand new leotard that I had gotten just the day before. Then I did my ball routine 3 times without music and did all the risks individually. Just 15 min before my turn I started to practice all the elements which were hard for me. When there were only 3 players left I stopped practice and with the help of Nasiba I started to prepare myself to go on to the carpet. This was the mental preparation which included going through my routine in my mind. Nasiba was there with me until it was my turn.  She could not stay with me after that since it had to be an Indian official coach for this competition to send me on to the carpet.

Meghana : Enjoy Hoop @ Tashkent
The routine was all very nice except for one major mistake with my first balance which is PlĂ©nche Balance where I could not hold it. After that I made sure that I thought of every single movement before doing it. After my ball routine I had only 10 more gymnasts before I was on with my hoop routine. I did One full routine of Hoop after which I worked on only my individual elements. Once again when there were only 3 players, Nasiba started to prepare me .The first risk however I did not complete all my rotations and the mixed balance again I was not able to hold. It was not how I wanted to perform but I did and I was not going to sit and worry about it but instead I wanted to make sure that the ribbon and clubs routine were better.
My Scores in Ball :  11.650      Hoop : 11.250

After me there were 3 other Indian team players in 2 other group and also there was an opening ceremony that I had to attend so after I was finished competing for the day I changed my leotard and went and sat with the rest of the team to watch the performances. Before going to meet the rest of the Indian team, I met with Maya and nasiba to ask how my routines were. They told me the corrections I had to work on and told to give my best the next day.

Proud Moment : Being with the Flag

Meghana With Flag @ Opening Ceremony

It was time to send only one player from India for the Opening Ceremony. Ms. Varsha madam (International judge from India ) had asked to send the player who scored the highest from India to go ,which was me. This was the first time that I was playing an international competition representing India and I was going to do so in the opening ceremony as well and I could not have felt prouder. 
Opening Ceremony @ Tashkent
After the opening ceremony mom and my self came back to the hotel, it was pretty late and I was exhausted  so I went to bed almost immediately. 

9th May 2016 : Ribbon & Clubs

On this day the rotation of the groups had changed ,today group B was third which meant that my competition would start a little later than 5:45 PM. So I went to the stadium at 3:00 to start my warm up and just like the previous day I started with basic warm up and then went on to stretching. Before I took my apparatus I did all my elements free hand. 

Meghana : See the Un-Known : Tashkent
Today I was starting my competition with ribbon followed by clubs. So I first started practicing with clubs before moving on to ribbon. A half hour before my competition started I changed into my leotards. Today i was going to wear two of my earlier leotards. A blue one for my ribbon and a black one for my clubs. I have to agree but I was freaking out a little bit by now. And before I knew it I was up, the routine was completely messed up. The first throw had slipped from my hand so I could not complete the rest of it and then my second risk also I did only two rotations when I was supposed to do three. The only good thing was that my mixed balance was counted. I was so disappointed when I finished the routine  but I did not want that to get in the way of my clubs routine. Clubs was my favourite apparatus so I had to make sure that it was the best routine and it was except for the mixed balance again. I was feeling really happy that the competition was over but at the same time I felt that I could have done better. Its all about that 90 Seconds it counts to get the score.  My Scores in Ribbon :  10.050     Clubs : 11.500

10th May 2016 : India - People Choice

Today was the event finals as well as the group finals. Usually only 8 teams qualify for the finals and in group competition there were only 8 teams which meant that the Indian team was competing in the finals. Since I did not come in the top 8 of the individual category I was not qualified, but I did go there to support the Uzbekistan team with whom I had been practicing for the past month.

Moment of Recognition for India :

After the group competition was over we had an official Indian team photo session. Towards the end of the day there was the closing ceremony for which the whole team has to attend. The Indian team coaches and judges thought that since we will not get anything they could skip the same. I was there at the Stadium, but to everyone's suprise I got awarded the people's choice award. I was really surprised as well as proud . It meant that India was finally being recognized. It was great to wrap my first ever international competition with a recognition. Many countries congratulated for my recognisable performance.

My performance has been the best from India so far. To begin I  could get pass gymnasts from Indonesia, Hongkong & Thailand in the lead table. Look to climb the ladder continuously.

Along with the whole Indian team we started from Tashkent on the 11 th of May. It has been an amazing experience for me. This one that taught more  than any of my other competitions. And this time I was going to work on all the mistakes I made so that by my next competition everyone who knows me should be surprised.
Meghana : Preparing for NEXT
Thank you my coaches Krupali madam, Brij Kishore Sir, Maya & Nasiba for your support. Thank you Gymnastics Federation Of India Gymnastics Association of Telangana State (GATS) & Sports authority of Telangana State (SATS) for encouraging me.  IFCI Financial Services LTD for supporting my Training