She is perhaps the third most popular sports personality from the soil of Hyderabad after Tennis Star Sania Mirza and Badminton champion Saina Nehwal. We are talking about Syeda Falak, the Karate sensation of the country. Syeda has is on cloud nine these as she recently clinched a gold medal at the prestigious US Open Karate Championship-2016. She is aiming to win a gold medal for the country in the 2020 Olympics. Senior Journalist Inkeshaf Ahmed has caught up with the rising Karate champion for an exclusive interview. She shared several things which are closed to her heart during the interview. Excerpts
Tell us about yourself and your childhood?
I was born on 22nd April,I belong to a conservative Muslim Family.I did my schooling from All saints High School.I completed my BA Political Science Degree from Villa Marie College and currently pursuing MA English.
What made you to choose Karate as your career?
I started learning Karate at the age of 12 years when I was in seventh standard.Karate classes were introduced in my school and I was fascinated seeing the demonstration.i wanted to learn the art of self defence and become fit.
When did you have your first fight?
After 8 days of training in Karate,I went on to participate in an inter school level competition winning a silver medal.
Tell us about your first victory? Also share the details of your other victories!
I have got my first victory by defeating a girl who defeated me several times. In that competition I defeated the her although she was one year senior to me in training. Then the second competition was an Indo-Srilanka Tournament where I was adjudged as the best fighter.Till date I am a winner of 15 International and 20 National Championships.I am the first Telanganite to have been qualified to represent India at the World Karate Championship and Asian Karate Championship.Recently I won Gold Medal at the USA Open Karate Championship 2016
My parents Syed Shah Majaz Ul Haq and Amena Majaz have been very very supportive from the beginning.They accompany me to every tournament I participate and are always there to boost my confidence. They are the reason behind my success.
How did they react when you told them about your decision to become a sports person?
First they were shocked when I told them I want to learn Karate as it is a male dominated sport.After seeing my dedication,they motivated me.
What Is your goal in life?
I want to represent India at the 2020 Olympics and want to win medal as well as in Asian Games and World Championship.
What is your memorable experience ?
I have many memorable experiences travelling the world and representing India. Almost all my foreign tours are memorable experiences for me. They also act as learning experiences to evolve in life.
What is your message to girls like you?
I would like to tell all the young girls to always believe in yourself,know who you are,what you believe in and where you want to go.Above all be the heroine of your life and not the victim.Also learning karate will be very helpful as it will give you the ability to protect yourself and move out freely.It is very important to learn now a days.
I admire Rafael Aghayev(Azerbaijan)-4 times World Champion in Karate a lot as a Karateka.I also respect and admire Bruce Lee.