In the early hours of a memorable day during the 2016 Rio Olympics, Jagdish Gulia and his eight-year-old daughter Tannu were captivated by the intense bouts of Indian women wrestling.
Witnessing Sakshi Malik’s last-minute triumph and bronze-clinching performance ignited a spark in Jagdish and a dream in Tannu. Little did they know that this moment would set the course for Tannu’s wrestling journey.
Fast forward to the present day, Tannu Gulia, a budding grappler from Haryana, has achieved a significant milestone by clinching the bronze medal in the 65kg weight category at the Rajarathinam stadium. Her journey, however, is more than just a medal; it’s a testament to the unwavering support of her family and her own commitment to excellence.
Tannu reminisces, “My father would have been thrilled with a gold, but I’m content. Unlike the previous edition where I returned empty-handed, this time I have something to show to my father.”
The journey hasn’t been without its challenges, as her father, a school bus driver, could not accompany her due to work commitments. Instead, Tannu was accompanied by her uncle Narendra and younger cousin sister Sakshi, who, unfortunately, couldn’t secure a medal.
This bronze medal is just one shining moment in Tannu’s collection of achievements. She has previously bagged gold at the Under-19 School Games in 2023, bronze at the Under-17 Cadet Ranking Series in 2022, and another bronze at the Under-14 School National Games in 2019.
Looking ahead, Tannu sets her sights on the Khelo India Youth Games, determined to claim the gold. “I will leave no stone unturned and work hard from here on. The opportunity and medal at Khelo India Youth Games have fueled my determination. I know I deserve bigger and better,” she confidently asserts.
Tannu acknowledges the sacrifices made by her father, despite limited resources. “He does everything to ensure I have a proper diet. My uncle even bought a buffalo so that there is no shortage of milk and ghee,” she reveals, highlighting the support system that propels her forward.
As Tannu Gulia continues to etch her name in the annals of Indian women’s wrestling, her story serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes, demonstrating that dreams, when coupled with dedication and familial support, can transform into remarkable achievements.