- The 23-year-old from Kalwa, Thane was India’s first ever representative in Modern Pentathlon at the Asian Games in Hangzhou 2023
Ponda: Maharashtra’s Mayank Chaphekar, India’s first Modern Pentathlon athlete to participate in the Asian Games 2023, had injured his shin bone when an epee sword pierced it in Hangzhou, China.
He had to retire mid-way in the Laser Run event on Thursday but the 23-year-old from Kalwa, Thane, underlined his dominance of the domestic circuit by winning gold medals in men’s Individual Triathle, Men’s Group Triathle and Mixed Relay Triathle at the 37th National Games in ponda on Friday.
Chaphekar, who has participated in two Modern Pentathlon World and Asian Championships each, made the most of the opportunities in Modern Pentathlon’s National Games debut.
Triathle is a sub-sport in the Modern Pentathlon discipline where athletes have to run 5x600m laps, swim 4x50m laps and shoot a laser gun at the target from a 10m distance.
Chaphekar, who was experiencing sharp pain in his leg, said, “Due to my injury I couldn’t run at 100% today, but I was extremely determined to clinch the Gold Medal as I was disappointed after my performance in the Laser Run yesterday.
“This win was extra special for me as this was the first time my mother has come to watch me compete live, and after the race all I could do was just go and give her a tight hug,” he added.
Chaphekar’s mother Suvarna could not hide her jubilation, saying, “I was in tears since yesterday because things didn’t go so well for Mayank yesterday, but I am very happy that he has been able to achieve 3 Gold Medals for Maharashtra today. I am extremely nervous and tense when he is competing – he is participating in an event, but sometimes it feels like it is my event itself.”
Speaking about how he deals with injuries, Chaphekar said, “I have faced my fair share of setbacks with injuries, but this is a challenge that is part of being a professional sportsperson.
“Meditation, and reading the Bhagvad Gita daily has really helped me come back stronger from setbacks and maintain focus during competitions,” he added.