‘We managed to survive, we knew it wouldn’t last long’: UP Yoddha’s Rishank Devadiga on Pandemic – Exclusive

The coronavirus pandemic, regardless of every social status parameter, has affected the financial situation of millions of people. From layoffs to pay cuts; organizations, businesses and employees have suffered a lot. This list would not be complete without mentioning the athletes, who were forced to stay behind the four walls of their house. If they belonged, in parallel, to a less popular sport, it was worse.

Unfortunately, kabaddi is one of the sports, and Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) players fall into the same category.

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It is a known fact that most PKL stars come from humble backgrounds and only through the league do they get most of their finances and accolades. Therefore, one can only begin to imagine their plight when it is realized that the three-month league has not been held for almost two years.

UP Yoddha striker Rishank Devadiga, in an exclusive interview with the Hindustan Times, gave an insight into what it was like to deal with such unprecedented times.

“For Kabaddi [League] he helped all the players financially a lot, but the pandemic made it difficult for all of us. But we managed to survive in this situation because we knew it wouldn’t last long. “Before Kabaddi continues, everything will be normal,” Devadiga said.

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The players were not only under heavy pressure for money during the isolation, but also training and fitness. As most of the training facilities, including gyms, were closed, it became difficult for players to maintain fitness. Still, they managed to improvise when needed.

It was very difficult at first (to keep fit). After the closure, there were no resources available and everything was closed. There was no gym or gym. At first I thought it would only take a few days, but it lasted long.Then I decided to arrange a personal gym so I got the necessary equipment.The last year and a half I train in a personal gym.I have a coach and a nutritionist from me and they continue to guide me.

“Moreover, the Kabaddi Fit Challenge was an exceptional program because, after a long time, all the players enjoyed this program. There was no interaction between us for a long time. So it was a good initiative. There were some intense trainings,” he explained. Indian national team player Devadiga.

Born in Maharashtra, he has been a kabadija player since his student days. His style is offensive and during his PKL career he became a specialist in ‘Do or Die’ attacks. He amassed the highest number of ‘Do or Die’ attack points for U Mumba in Season 2, 3 and 4 and for UP Yoddha in Season 5.

When asked about the secret of the successful ‘Do or Die’ attack and the beginning of this journey, he said: “The secret is very simple. You always have to be calm and focused during a do or die attack. In fact, from the time I started playing Pro Kabaddi [League] when I trained under Anup Kumar, he always believed that I could perform attacks do or die. I even accepted challenges during training. The coaches and the captain believed in me. From there the journey began to make or die attacks. “

Twenty-seven-year-old Devadiga loves spotlights. After all, it is difficult for kabadijas to achieve this because the awareness of domestic and national tournaments is still inadequate, and the three months of PKL are their glory. Does Devadiga feel the pressure or enjoy the challenge? He remarked:

“Three months of the league are hectic and we are under the scan every day – sometimes a good day and sometimes a bad one. But I’ve always been penalized, and the only way I think I stay in the game is not to drop the ball. In short, never give up. The adrenaline I get while exercising and staying fit is incomparable – that’s what keeps me going. Fans who love kabaddi can’t wait to see something new every year, and we as athletes train all year to make it happen to them, the team and ourselves. “

The Yoddhas had a good season of 7. They finished third in the league phase to knock them out of the Bengaluru Bulls in Eliminator 1. As for Devadiga, he scored 77 points, far from his best ever of 170 in season 5. But the new season, how they say it will bring a new challenge and Devadiga remains optimistic about a good performance in Season 8.

“We have a good team and we have a bunch of good young players. UP Yoddha has played in the last three seasons, we didn’t play at first, but we came back later in every situation. That’s what I’m happy about. Winning and losing are just part of the game “We would look forward to winning this season,” Devadiga concluded.

The final schedule of PKL 8 has yet to be officially announced.


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