With the Season 5 of Pro Kabaddi League making a grand appearance, our very own Pune team- Puneri Paltan is all set to give a tough fight. Each season we get to see the entry of new players or the old players shuffling between the teams, but this year a very unusual entry is expected in the Puneri Paltan.
Brace yourself Punekars as a new lion is roaring its way through Japan. You heard it right, this season Puneri Paltan will be embracing a new player named Takamitsu Kono who is a third-generation Buddhist monk from Japan.
Bizarre as it sounds, being a monk and a kabaddi player is not a cake walk. Kono said,
Being a monk helps me concentrate more on kabaddi and helps me remain calm in intense moments during the match.
A few years ago, he stumbled upon a page dedicated to kabaddi on the website of the Tai Sho University, from where he has a degree in Buddhism. Once Kono went through the videos uploaded on the website, he was hooked to the game.
Kono was the part the Dabang Delhi team in Pro Kabaddi League Season 2 and is now all set to show his efficient skills in Puneri Paltan. 25-year-old Kono talks about his venture by stepping into this enthralling Indian origin game.
I was 18 years old at that time. And since then, I have been playing kabaddi. My father was my mentor during the earlier training period. Later, Keijun Ito, a senior national Japanese player, imparted kabaddi training to me and that helped me improve my game. It’s from him that I learnt the valuable lesson that in kabaddi, togetherness and team spirit are essential because that’s what forms the core essence of a strong player.
Hitherto, he was also a part of ‘Starting Seven’- the Japanese team in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. Kono was at the 8th position in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup leader board, with 19 points, and at the 7th position with 3.4 successful tackles per match.
Kono is very excited for being a part of Puneri Paltan and says it’s more like a family to him than a team; he enjoys practicing with the players, having food with them and travelling around.
He further adds,
All the players are very friendly. We have lots of fun; we joke around and enjoy ourselves during practice and at other times.
The players are currently stationed at Symbiosis International University, Lavale Campus, for their training camp and are putting rigorous efforts to lead their team on the ace.
Information source: indianexpress
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