Coronavirus lockdown not a problem for gymnast Aruna Reddy

The spirited athlete is undergoing a one-year rehab programme monitored by South African physical conditioning expert Heath Mathews.

World Cup bronze medallist and gymnast B. Aruna Reddy training online at home in Hyderabad on Friday.   -  Special Arrangement


The nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected B. Aruna Reddy’s training. The 24-year-old — India’s first World Cup bronze medallist in gymnastics in February 2018 — is under a one-year rehab programme, monitored by South African physical conditioning expert Heath Mathews (working with Reliance Foundation in Mumbai) and her national coach, Manoj Rana.

Aruna had a second surgery for the ligament tear on her right knee during the Olympics qualification trials in Stuttgart in October last but she is least dispirited. “Frankly, this lockdown doesn’t make any difference to me. Thanks to the Internet, seven-hour daily training sessions in the mornings and evenings, I don’t find any difference to my daily routine,” she told Sportstar on Friday.

READ| Lockdown to silver medal: Khajan Singh recalls Asian Games 1986

“The only thing which I miss is training on the equipment and some weight training,” she said.

Aruna, who grew up watching Dipa Karmakar in the national camp since 2011, feels lucky that there are no events now. She wants to re-draw her training and competition schedule after November, post the rehab period, this year.

“My coach Manoj sir is guiding all the national campers across India during this lockdown,” she revealed.

The Hyderabadi is also expecting two positive developments —a job offer from Income Tax and the renewal of the tie-up with the Go Sports Foundation even while acknowledging the support from Aurobindo Pharma at present.

“Right now, the focus is on physical conditioning with emphasis on upper body strengthening. Only after seven months, I can get a feel how it will be when I perform on the apparatus,” said Aruna.

Brushing aside the setbacks, this indefatigable gymnast wants to chase her ultimate goal — the 2024 Olympics.