For Syeda Falak, it will be yet another big opportunity to realise her dream of clinching a glittering gold when she enters the fray in the World Karate Federation Series A championship in Santiago (Chile) starting from September 19.

The 24-year-old year spirited athlete will be vying for top honours in the familiar 68 kg and above individual Kumite category for women. “The preparations have been really good. I am hoping to make amends and come up with a special performance,” she says.

This is not her first world championship; Ms. Falak got a feel of what it means to be out there in the 2016 edition itself when she was much younger and not really that experienced in the tough world of martial arts. But, over the years, she has made it a point to be a better exponent of karate under the tutelage of coaches Balram Rajput and Altaf Amar.

“Obviously, with the experience of competing in many international events, you tend to get better. But, when it comes to winning a medal at a world championship, you need to be at your best on the given day,” she comments on her prospects.

“I feel proud to be part of the ‘women force’ in sports from the city which has produced a world champion only recently in badminton (P.V. Sindhu) apart from other illustrious names like Sania Mirza (tennis), Saina Nehwal (badminton) and Mithali Raj (cricket) to name a few. They are certainly an inspiration for many like us,” she adds.

But when it comes to martial arts, it is a different sport altogether, combining physical fitness with a rare degree of alertness to counter a flurry of attacks from the opponent, Ms. Falak says. “I take pride in the fact that I belong to a different breed, in a way breaking off the trend among girls,” she signs off.

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