The 19-member Andaman and Nicobar contingent will be banking upon kayak exponent and multiple medal winner Regina Kiro to land them medals in the 36th National Games, just like she had done seven years ago in Kerala.
The police sub-inspector had won five gold and one silver in the 2015 edition and, at 38 years of age, is eager to carry the tiny state’s hopes once again.
The islands’ track cyclists like Deborah, Esow, David Beckham and Paul Collingwood will lend weight to the contingent’s campaign, according to a release from the 36th National Games.
However, it will be the kayak squad led by Regina Kiro that will attract attention as Andaman and Nicobar attempts to match, if not better, their total haul of 13 medals in 2015.
“It was a remarkable outing in Kerala and I should make it to the podium again this time, but I cannot give five gold medals as there are only three events in this edition,” Regina Kiro said. “I will be competing in the 200m K1 and K2 and the 500m K4 races and hope to do well,” she added.
Regina has already inspired many young athletes with her commitment, but she remains humble and seeks to share the limelight with her team-mates. “We have very good cyclists and other Kayaks too. I am sure they will win medals to make our team proud,” she said.
Having competed for India in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Asian Games in Guangzhou (China), Incheon (South Korea), and Jakarta (Indonesia), respectively, she has been holding her own at the domestic level. In the National Championships at the Baur Dam in Gularbhoj, Uttarakhand last month, she won silver in K1 and gold in K2 with Sandhya Kispotta.