Running towards success

Published On: September 22, 2017 12:26 PM NPT By: The Week Bureau

Kanchi Maya Koju has represented Nepal in more than 19 international sports competitions as a runner. She created her personal best in the 2004 Olympics and bagged the silver medal in 10th South Asian Games. In the national front too Koju has been honored with various titles and awards. Just a year ago, she was awarded with People’s Choice in Pulsar Sports Awards for her 21 years long career in sports. 

Koju believes that hard work and luck have come together to seal her fate. However, she also says that she would not have been able to accomplish much without the support and guidance of her family and friends. But reminiscing about her sports journey, Koju doesn’t exactly remember when it all started. 

“It is hard to pinpoint exactly when and how I got into sports. But I remember taking part in various inter-school competitions and no one could outrun me,” she says adding that when her teachers noticed her strength, they counseled her to pursue running and even take it up as a career later on in life.  

And that advice has been a good one for Koju. Not only has she been able to make a name for herself she likes everything about running. She believes running is the basic way to train for all kinds of sports. And since it’s an individual sports where you only have to work with yourself Koju finds that it suits her personality too. “You don’t have to discuss things with a team or coordinate how you will do things on the field,” she says. 

Koju’s first official training took place under the supervision of coach Mohan Prasad Karmacharya after which she trained under the Nepal Armed Police Force (APF). The trainings were and are tough but Koju confesses she wouldn’t have it any other way. “There are no new techniques to learn. You just have to do the same laps over and over again but I prefer it to remaining idle and doing nothing,” says Koju adding that practice is necessary if you want to succeed and be the best in what you do. 

However, her journey has been far from easy. Koju shares that there have been times when she has been deprived of opportunities because of gender bias. Though that has often left her heartbroken and demotivated, she has also not allowed it to completely take over her life. “I want to keep doing my best and work hard despite the challenges that come my way. And for that, the most basic thing I have to do is keep a positive mindset,” she says. Currently, she is preparing for another national tournament that also happens to be the selection round for the upcoming Asian Games. 


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