By Bhavya Chand
New Delhi, Jan 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) India's international speedskater Anoli Shah, who bagged three medals at the 60th National Roller Skating Championship 2022, believes her journey was not smooth sailing but she loves every bit of it.
Anoli bagged a bronze in the Asian Roller Sports Championship in 2010, which was her first international meet at the age of 14. She also represented India at the Asian Beach Games 2012, World Speed Skating Championship 2012, 15th Asian Roller Skating Championship, World Roller Speed Skating Championship 2013 and Flanders Grand Prix Open World Championship.
In an interaction with IANS, Anoli shed light on her skating journey and said: "My journey has been full of ups and downs, success and failures, tears and laughter and lots of wins and losses. But I think, I would not have it in any other way. I have loved every bit of it."
The 27-year-old skater has won 166 gold medals, 123 silver medals and 88 bronze medals at various international, national, state and district-level championships in speed skating.
Anoli started roller skating as a hobby at the age of 9 which soon turned into a passion and a successful career. Sharing how skating happened, she said: "When I saw national level skaters practising and they were really fast! I was in complete awe and told my father that I want to take up skating. My father has been very supportive of my decision and even supportive till now. There were days my father was more passionate about sports than I have."
She is currently training at the National Skating School in Ahmedabad with the Simmons Rana Team under his childhood coach Rahul Rana.
Anoli said she had a rocky 2022 season but eventually ended on a positive note with three medals in the national championship held in December. Reacting to her performance, she said "In the first half of the year my endurance was not that good especially during September and October as I had a couple of health issues and I was not able to train for some time. Post that, I worked a lot on my endurance and I could see the difference during the National Championships in December.
"Coming back with three medals was something I have targeted to do and I did. There are still some areas that I have to work on. The good thing is that I know what things I need to work on. Overall, good racing as well as good learning."
Anoli bagged bronze medals in the track point-to-point + elimination race, track elimination race, and mixed relay race in the National Championship in December.
After ending the 2022 season on a happy note, the Ahmedabad-based skater has set some goals for 2023 that include the preparation for the Asian Games.
"In 2023, I have some timing-related goals I have for myself and I have been working on my sprints so that I can better them by the end of this year. I am excited about my international events. We have Asian Games, Asian Championships and World Championships coming this year."
"I am working on my strength and conditioning and also working on my techniques. We have been following a very scientific and structured training plan," she said about his preparation for Asian Games.
Sharing her thoughts on skating not being a part of the summer Olympics, Anoli said: "When I took up skating, the goal was never to be in the Olympics, I was just a 9-year-old girl who fell in love with speed, racing, and thrill. By the age of 12 or 13, I was so in love with this sport and was very passionate about it, so these things did not really matter. Now, my goals are to get the medals at the world championships, Asian championships and Asian Games."
"A lot of skaters, who are really good at inline skating, use to move to ice skating for the World Championships. Ice skating is a part of the Winter Olympics and its techniques are quite similar racing is also similar to inline roller skating, the training is a little bit different but it is not very difficult to make that shift to ice skating. A lot of players do inline skating in summer and move to ice skating during winter," the ENGN-backed speedskater added.
Anoli is associated with a talent representation company named ENGN and said that they have been very supportive of the sport and also look after the things that are important adding that "ENGN provides infrastructural support with nutrition, training, mental health coaches and any other need the athlete may require to improve their performance. I am loving my association with ENGN and look forward to continuing."