Twelve-year-old Ojal Nalavadi, from Hubballi, made a mark in the blindfold skating category, entering the Guinness Book of World Records by clocking 400 metres in 51.25 seconds.
Rolling blindfolded on her skates early in the morning on Children’s Day, she also set a record for the fastest woman in blindfold skating.
The audience had gathered early - at around 5.30 am - as Ojal, a Class 7 student of JSS Sri Manjunatheshwara Central School, skated on TenderSure Road at Shirur Park area, in Hubballi. Ojal was participating in an event aimed at encouraging the girl child.
Successfully setting the record in her third attempt, Ojal expressed gratitude to all her supporters. “My parents, coach and family were a big support. I shall achieve more with their support in the future,” she said.
Guinness World Records observer Victor Fenes registered the performance and issued the certificate to the young skater. He said this was the “first Guinness record for fastest blindfolded skating in the female category”.
Her coach, Akshay Suryawanshi credits Ojal, and her “determination and hard work” for achieving the difficult task.
Ojal, the daughter of Sunil Nalavadi and Deepa S Nalavadi, holds 13 records, including those in Asia Book of Records and India Book of Records. She has been skating since the past two years and hopes to break this new record soon.
Last year, nine-year-old Kamali Moorthy from Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, surprised the world with her skateboarding skills. Her skills had impressed international skateboarders like Jamie Thomas and Tony Hawk.
The little girl’s talent and her mother’s support inspired New Zealand filmmaker Sasha Rainbow to produce a 24-minute short documentary. Titled Kamali, the won the Best Documentary at the Atlanta Film Festival, US, and was shortlisted for the 2020 Academy Awards.
In recent times, more and more young girls in India are excelling at niche sports and gaining global recognition.