India’s Gulshan Sharma: ‘This shows nothing is impossible’

18 Jun. 2022

India’s Gulshan Sharma: ‘This shows nothing is impossible’

At the 2022 IHF Women’s Youth Beach Handball World Championship today, India defeated Puerto Rico 2-0 to win the first-ever beach handball world championship match for the nation in any age group or either gender.

“The message this win sends is that nothing is impossible,” said India pivot Gulshan Sharma. “They must be rejoicing in India.”

The happiness amongst the players on court 3, the outside court here in Heraklion, far away from the central, main court, was shared by those watching, with the German women’s team applauding the squad off the court and high-fiving each and every one of them.

All seven matches before Puerto Rico had resulted in losses, although against Greece this morning, the Asian side won their first-ever period, taking the host nation to a shoot-out, but losing.

“We had high hopes of winning against Greece, but due to some silly mistakes and penalties, we didn’t,” added Sharma.

“We overcame that and we said let's go along to the Puerto Rico game and we'll win it.”

They did, 2-0 (18:15, 14:12) Sanjana Kumari top-scoring on 14 points and Sharma registering seven points herself and telling that the result will have far-reaching implications back home.

“We are very thrilled that we qualified for the World Championship and have won our first match,” she explained. “This one match will change us, transform us. In the next match it is a morale boost for us.

“In India, everyone will be very happy, in spite of so many losses, that we have won at least one match and after looking at today's game that we have won, there will be more players coming in, more students coming in, who will take up to this new sport of beach handball.”

Coach Anand Bajirao Mane echoed her thoughts.

“The cost of coming to a world championship is a big thing and this one win will boost the sport (back home),” he said. “We can do much better (though), they will go for more practices and can have a preparation camp for a month or two months and not just a week like before here.

“I'm happy,” he continued. “It’s the first time for us to qualify for a world championship. Whatever they’ve faced this week, they’ve handled it.

“It may be difficult to win all the matches [here] but we want to help fight for everything. I'm very happy for the team.”