Mandeep's ultimate goal is to represent the Indian Kabaddi Team || Mitti Ke Sher
Early Life and Kabaddi Journey
Mandeep, born and brought up in a village in the outskirts of Gurugram named Palra, Kabaddi came to him very naturally and he started playing the sport when he was 14 years old. His Uncle is a Kabaddi legend- Anup Kumar. Anup is one of the reasons why Mandeep starting playing the sport. Mandeep fell in love with Kabaddi when watching Anup Kumar on the mat. He took the sport seriously and started working hard in his game. Soon his hard work paid off and he was part of the Haryana state team in the 1st Khelo India School Games. He went on to win gold in that tournament to mark the start of his Kabaddi career. It was a good few years for Mandeep as he also got admission into the Sports Authority of India, Gandhinagar Campus. He has also gone on to represent Gujarat in the School Games Nationals in 2019. After spending 3 good years at SAI, Gandhinagar Mandeep returned to Palra and now practices under the watchful eyes of Anup Kumar. Mandeep's ultimate goal in life is to represent the Indian Kabaddi Team. His favorite Kabaddi player is Anup Kumar- no-brainer right?? it can not be anyone else when you have a legend of the game at home like Anup Kumar.
When asked about how he deals with external pressure as he is the nephew of the legend Anup Kumar, Mandeep Said-
'' A lot of people think it is easy for someone like me who is related to a big legend like my uncle- Anup Kumar, but it does not work like that. When I started playing the sport, my uncle was very clear that he will not use his fame to help or recommend me anywhere and he said- 'do not expect me to help you in your journey, only your hard work can help you, but I will always be there to guide and support you in your journey.' so it was very clear for me that only hard work can make me a good player and I always ignore the negative comments and thoughts from outside.''
K7 Qualifiers Journey
Mandeep represented the BBD Kabaddi Academy in the K7 Qualifiers Tournament. He was the main raider for this young unit and had a tournament to remember as he finished with 31 raid points in the 3 games he played in the tournament. BBD Kabaddi Academy did not qualify ahead and lost all games but they did win hearts by putting up a great show in the tournament with the help of players like Mandeep.
In the first game against Amit and Ashok Kabaddi Academy (AAA Kabaddi Academy), Mandeep had a good game as he scored 12 raid points in 23 raids. But he did not get any support from other raiders which led to the BBD Kabaddi Academy's defeat in their first game.
In the second game against Narwal Golden Club, again Mandeep was the lone warrior for the BBD Kabaddi Academy, he again scored 12 points in the game to help BBD Kabaddi Academy get close to Narwal Golden Club but it was not enough as they lost the game by 9 points.
In the third and final game, BBD Kabaddi Academy was up against the hosts Khokhar Kabaddi Academy, and this game turned out to be a one-sided encounter where Khokhar Kabaddi Academy took the game away from the start itself. Mandeep scored 7 raid points in the game to keep BBD in the game but it was not enough as Khokhar Kabaddi Academy won the game with a score difference of 26 points.
All in All, Mandeep had a memorable tournament where he grabbed everyone's attention. He will now be seen in action during the K7 Stage Up tournament for a new team- Khokhar Kabaddi Academy- the same team he played against in the qualifiers. It will be interesting to see how Mandeep goes about his game in the K7 Stage UP. When asked about his experience with the K7 Qualifiers he said-
''K7 Qualifiers was an amazing experience for me personally as it was the first time I was playing in front of that kind of a setup, the lights, and things and I think this is a great platform for young players like me who are trying to make a career out of Kabaddi.''
We at Kabaddi Adda would like to wish Mandeep all the best and hope to see him soon in action at the K7 Stage Up Tournament.