At seven, unlike most of his peers, Rochan Uthaiah doesn’t spend his time getting his grammar, video game scores and diction right. Rather, the Taekwondo champ has his sights set on carving a niche for himself at the game — and is going strong at it. This first grader from Trio World School recently clinched three international medals at the Qing Dao Taekwondo International Open held in China. In a candid chat, we find out more.
“Rochan was always an active child. I remember him being very outdoorsy. He has inherently been a quick learner. That worked in his favour in understanding the techniques of Taekwondo a lot faster than most other kids of his age,” begins Priya, Rochan’s mother. While Rochan has been taking Badminton classes for a while now, his tryst with Taekwondo dates back to a year-and-a-half ago, when Rochan took baby steps. Currently in the sixth level (Blue senior belt); it didn’t take long for this Bengaluru turks efforts to pay off — His innings began with the Sixth Carmel Cup — a district level tournament held on February 25 and 26, 2017; where Rochan was awarded a gold medal in Kyorugi (fight) and Poomsae and a silver in brick breaking. One thing led to another and his next big win was at the Karnataka Taekwondo Expo, a state level championship held in April 2017 in Bengaluru. He clinched a gold medal under the 32 kg weight categories Kyorugi and gold medal in Poomsae mini sub junior boys in the championship.
This was followed by the Fifth Qing Dao Taekwondo International open in China on August 26 and 27, 2017 where Rochan clinched Gold – Kyoruge under 32 kg, Silver – Poomsae under eight years and a Bronze – speed kicking under eight years. “I wish to make India proud and emerge a global sports icon someday,” mentions Rochan, with a glimmer of hope in his eyes. Rochan is currently training under Suresh SG, a black belt holder from Korea.
Aside of sports, Rochan loves shaking a leg to some peppy Bollywood numbers. “I love dancing and I learn most of my moves when songs are played on TV,” enthuses the little Oorean. While Rochan is aceing it at extracurricular activities; academics does not take a back seat.”I practice between 5 pm to 6 pm every day or 6 pm to 7 pm thrice a week. I also devote equal attention to studies as my parents are very particular that I concentrate on my studies,” he informs. Having recently completed an advance level of training, things are looking bright and exciting for Rochan. Speaking about what’s next, Rochan concludes, “I am currently preparing for an Open in Korean slated to take place early next year. I hope to do my best and encourage more city kids to take up sports.”