Nayanmoni Saikia in two different avatars

Assam’s Nayanmoni Saikia is a part of history now after winning the first-ever gold for India in lawn bowls at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Apart from Nayanmoni, the Indian team comprised of Lovely Choubey, Pinki and Rupa Rani Tirkey.

Hailing from Tengabari, a remote village in Sarupathar in the Golaghat district of Assam, Nayanmoni Saikia began her career in sports with weightlifting in 2008. But due to a leg injury, her performance kept deteriorating.

Later, Nayanmoni chose to play lawn bowls as this was a “game without injuries”. With time, lawn bowls became her passion and she became a key player in the national team.

“Nayanmoni was a very dedicated weightlifter. Her whole life revolved around sports. But a leg injury meant that her performances kept deteriorating. Till she found lawn bowls. That later became her passion. She has faced many challenges in her life, but she never sacrificed the game,” Nayanmoni’s husband Bhaskar Jyoti Gohain was quoted as saying by The Bridge.

In 2011, Nayanmoni won two gold medals in women’s singles and triples in the 34th National Games in Ranchi. In 2012, Nayanmoni won one gold in under-25 girls’ singles at the Asian championship held in Malaysia.

In 2015, she again won two gold medals in women’s singles and fours in the 35th national games in Kerala. In 2017, she won another gold in women’s triples in the 12th Asian championship in New Delhi.

She currently works with the Assam forest department. Reports said that she still takes part at intra-departmental weightlifting competitions.

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