These sport champs-cum-siblings have grown up to inspire and support each other professionally. We find out more about the bond they share and the healthy competition between them.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that most siblings across the world share a love-hate relationship while growing up. But when they play sports together, their bond only grows stronger! Proof, you ask? We zoom into the lives of a few distinguished sibling pairs in the sporting world to see how they train, eat and live together.
The Ragala Brothers
For the Ragala brothers, Venkata Rahul and Varun, both of whom clinched gold at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships, training together is highly motivational.
“We are like best friends; we hang out together too. At home too, we discuss about the sport. My elder brother (Rahul) introduced me to weightlifting, so there’s no rivalry (laughs). But we love to compete! Training together motivates us, especially during the lows. Sometimes I feel complacent and lazy, but the moment I see my brother training, I immediately start practising too,” says Varun. At the same time, Rahul adds, “We review each other’s performances during practice and correct ourselves accordingly. Also, during failures, chatting with your sibling who knows about the game helps you a great deal.”
The Guntur Brothers
What could be a prouder moment for any parent than to see their two children shining on the top in the same sport? The year 2017 turned out to be a fantastic playing season for the Guntur brothers, Kidambi Srikanth and Nandagopal. Not only did it see Srikanth winning the badminton super series titles in Indonesia and Australia, but also witnessed his elder brother Nandagopal claiming the men’s doubles and mixed doubles titles at the Kharkiv International Challenge in Ukraine.
Obviously then, these shuttlers must be spending all of their time, at home and while practising, together? “We don’t practise together, we are always busy at the academy. His (Srikanth’s) timings and tournaments are totally different than mine,” says Nandagopal, adding. “But we have our meals together and spend most of the day in each other’s company whenever we are together.”
Srikanth adds, “Playing with your sibling is a unique experience. He (Nandagopal) inspired me to take up the game. We compete with each other but at the same time bond strongly as siblings and complement each other. Although we try and compete with each other, we enjoy each other’s success and that’s where we draw strength from.”
The Sagar Sisters
Interestingly, Priyanka and Anshika Sagar, who clinched the gold and silver medals respectively in rhythmic gymnastics at Zhong Ling Cup in China recently, also love playing with each other as it helps in getting constructive criticism.
Anshika says, “My sister inspired me to come into gymnastics. Since she follows me closely, she gives me critical feedback. There’s no sibling rivalry because both of us learn from each other.” And Priyanka adds, “We don’t talk much about the game at home, we indulge in other leisure activities, which makes our bond stronger. And what better way than celebrating your victory than with your sibling.”
The Kumar Brothers
Shyam Kumar, who recently won gold at the Asian Games Invitation International Boxing Championship, also feels he is fortunate that his sibling Sagar plays the same sport.
“When someone in your family is already playing the sport, it makes you understand the game quickly and feel emotionally supported in the profession. My brother helped me in honing my skills and techniques which have influenced my performances. Yeah, we do compete, but I guess he gets the better of me,” mentions Shyam....