Yumnam Sanathoi Devi - Asian Games 2014 Bronze Medalist In Wushu
Profile and Interview

Daniel Chabungbam *

Yumnam Sanathoi winning the Bronze Medal at Wushu at Asian Games 2014
Yumnam Sanathoi winning the Bronze Medal at Wushu at Asian Games 2014

Name: Yumnam Sanathoi Devi
Father's Name: (Late) Yumnam Shamu Singh
Address: Yairipok Top Chingtha, Imphal East
Date of birth: 1st February, 1989
Qualification: BA Last year
Highest Achievement: Silver Medal in 11th and 12 World Wushu Champinship

Yumnam Sanathoi Devi of Top Chingtha, Imphal East who had recently bagged a bronze medal in Wushu (Shanshou 52 kg category) in the 17th Asian games held at Incheon, South Korea aims to win a medal in Olympic Games if Wushu becomes an Olympic sport. E-pao recently took an interview with the 25 years old Asiad bronze medallist. Here are the excerpts of the interview.

E-pao: Since when and how did you start playing Wushu?
Sanathoi: It was in the year of 2003 I came in contact with Maibam Surbala Devi of my locality and under her guidance I started playing the game Wushu. It was after a year I met Moirangthem Ibomcha Singh of Yairipok Bishnunaha who runs the Amateur Institute of Wushu and who is also an International Judge of the International Wushu Federation.

From that year onwards I started practising at the local level under stateís association. After a spell of three years with Ibomcha, I got shifted my base to Sports Authority of India, Centre of Excellence North East Regional Centre in Imphal.

E-pao: In how many games have you participated and how many titles have you achieved under whose guidance?
Sanathoi: At the centre I played under various coaches; W. Birahari Singh, M. Sachidananda and Bijender from UP. During my tenure I won various medals at the state level competitions. In National level I had participated at 11 sports event in various states and out of which I received 9 gold medals and one silver medal.

With gold medal I won at the 33rd National Games held at Guwahati in 2007 I got recognition from the state government and as a token of appreciation I got employed as a constable in Manipur Police from the year 2010. In the International level I took part in 13 sports event including the 17th Asian Games held in South Korea recently and out of which I won two gold, five silver and two bronze medals.

 Yumnam Sanathoi with her team-mates practising Wushu
Yumnam Sanathoi with her team-mates practising Wushu

E-pao: What differences do the Manipuri players face from the other stateís players?
Sanathoi: Manipuri players have been contributing their best in National level and for their contribution due recognition has been given to them such as by awarding Arjuna Award to two Wushu players from Manipur. But it is sad that a Manipuri player would receive a cash award of Rupees 3 Lakhs if he/she wins a medal in the National Games and a player from Jharkhand state would get an amount ranging from 10 to 15 Lakhs. Though Manipur is a small state the contribution made by the players of this state is worth mentioning.

E-pao: What changes do you want to implement in the current situation of the state to get more fruitful results in future?
Sanathoi: In order to make the state achieve more fruitful results at the National level the rewards/recognition conferred must be higher. Development of sportís infrastructure right from the district level would also help in shaping the talented players.

Families of young interested players staying in far flung places from Imphal find it a burden to reach Imphal and get the best equipments for sports training. But when these players achieve medals the reward/recognition they receive is very low.

I appeal to all the concerned authorities to take care of the talented players of the state as players can bring laurels to the state. I also feel that the point scoring system at the National and International level has much difference. The system which is used in National level sometimes creates misunderstanding to the players. As sports have become very competitive we should start practising in both the scoring systems starting from the state level to enable us in producing good players from Manipur.

E-pao: Can Manipur excel in producing good players of Wushu?
Sanathoi: I am proud to say that Manipuri players have distinct fighting skill, spirit and will. So Manipuri players can do extremely well in power fighting events like Wushu. On the other hand Manipuri has the advantage of being Mongolians we can outshine at the National levels in various power fighting events.

E-pao: With various achievements to your credit what is your future goal?
Sanathoi: I would like to win a medal at the Olympic Games. There will be a demonstration of Wushu at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. So it is likely that Wushu will be included as a game from 2020 Olympics. Thereby I would like to participate in the 2020 Olympics and bring laurel to the state as well as to the country. In future I would like to work as a Coach if I happened to stop playing. I would also like to work hand in hand with the present Coaches and bring up talented players from the state.

International Level:

Sl. No. Sports Event Date and Venue Weight Category Medal
1. 3rd Asian Junior Wushu Championship Singapore, 24-26 July 2005 48 kg Silver
2. 1st junior World Wushu Championship Kuala lampur, 19-26 Aug, 2006 48 kg participated
3. 9th World Wushu Championship Beijing, China 11-17 Nov. 2007 48 kg 5th place
4. 3rd South Asian Wushu Championship Dhaka, Bangladesh 20-27 April Ď08 48 kg Gold
5. 7th Asian Wushu Championship Macau, China 13-16 May 2008 48 kg Silver
6. 1st Asian Martial Art Games Bangkok, Thailand 1-9 Aug. 2009 48 kg Silver
7. 11th South Asian Games Dhaka, Bangladesh 29 Jan- 9 Feb. 2010 48 kg Gold
8. 16th Asian Games Guangzhou, China 12-17 Nov. 2010 52 kg Quarter final
9. 11th World Wushu Championship Ankara, Turkey 6-15 Oct. 2011 48 kg Silver
10. 8th Asian Wushu Championship Ho chin minh, Vietnam 19-25 Aug. 2012 48 kg Bronze
11. 12th World Wushu Championship Kuala lampur 28 Oct-6 Nov. 2013 48 kg Silver
12. 3rd Lusofonia Games Goa, India 6-29 Jan. 2014 48 kg participated
13. 17th Asian Games Incheon, South Korea 19 Sept-4th Oct. 2014 52 kg Bronze

National Level:

Sl. No. Sports Event Date and Venue Weight Category Medal
1. 13th National Wushu Championship Jharkhand, 2004 52 kg participated
2. 1st All India Invitation Wushu Championship Mandi (HP) 2004 52 kg Silver
3. 5th Junior National Wushu Championship Punjab, 2005 48 kg Gold
4. 6th Junior National Wushu Championship Jabalpur (MP) 2006 48 kg Gold
5. 33rd National Games Guwahati 2007 48 kg Gold
6. 16th Senior National Wushu Championship Meerut 2008 48 kg Gold
7. 17th Senior National Wushu Championship Nanded 2009 48 kg Gold
8. 34th National Games Ranchi, Jharkhand 2011 48 kg Gold
9. 19th Senior National Wushu Championship Haridwar, 2011 48 kg Gold
10. 20th Senior National Wushu Championship J & K, 2012 48 kg Gold
11. 21st Senior National Wushu Championship Kolkata 2013 48 kg Gold

See photo Gallery of Yumnam Sanathoi : Reception at Tulihal on 27 Sep 2014 here

* Daniel Chabungbam wrote this article for
This article was posted on October 16, 2014.

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