Fencer Taniksha Khatri, a TOPS Development athlete, says she draws inspiration from two people: her father, a police officer and Nathalie Moellhausen, a former world champion from Brazil.
Taniksha, a 19-year-old student pursuing her B.A. final year at Guru Nanak Dev University in Karnal, is preparing to showcase her fencing skills at the third edition of the Khelo India University Games.
The games are being held in various cities of Uttar Pradesh, including Lucknow, Noida, Gorakhpur and Varanasi.
Taniksha said as per official press release "I consider my father as my idol as he has taught me to never accept defeat. If she ever faces defeat, she should rise again."
Regarding the fencing, she is influenced by Brazilian fencer Nathalie Moellhausen.
"I trained with Nathalie for five months in Paris and learned a lot from her," she added later. "I believe that performance is crucial for an athlete's life," said Taniksha.
Recalling her meeting with Nathalie five months back in Paris, Taniksha mentioned that Nathalie became the world champion in 2019, but for the next three to four years, she struggled to achieve significant titles and medals. I wanted to know how Nathalie kept her morale high during the difficult phase and how she maintained focus during competitions.
Talking about her journey in fencing, Taniksha shared that she first tried fencing during a summer camp at her school, DAV Police Public School in Karnal, in 2015. She liked the game and decided to continue pursuing it. Taniksha has gained extensive experience at national and international levels. She has been playing senior and cadet national fencing for seven years. Currently, she holds the number one position in the senior and junior categories of fencing in India.
Reflecting on her achievements so far, Taniksha mentioned winning a silver medal in the 2022 Commonwealth Championship held in London and the Junior Asian Championship held in Uzbekistan in 2022. Taniksha's dream is to win a medal for her country at the Olympics. She has set her sights on the 2028 Olympics.
Regarding the Khelo India University Games, Taniksha emphasized their importance in providing exposure to athletes. She believes that all the games organized under the Khelo India banner are crucial for young athletes. The more competitions an athlete participates in, the more exposure and experience they gain, which helps improve their game. (ANI)