He feels the country's system simply fails talent at every step. Here to compete in the ongoing 35th National Games, Ashish was the overwhelming favourite for an all round individual gold but settled for a silver.

Ask him about not performing as expected, the 24-year-old interestingly bursts out laughing while talking about the anger he feels at such queries.

"I am training without a coach for three years. I have been hampered by injuries in the worst possible times, including just ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. In fact, I suffered a heel injury just before coming here but still decided to compete. Under these circumstances I got a silver and people talk about expectations. Am I not supposed to feel angry?" asked the Allahabad boy in an interview.

"I was advised bed rest for 15-20 days just before the National Games but I thought we don't get many competitions, either at home or abroad, in any case, so skipping the National Games would have meant another missed opportunity.I didn't want that," he said explaining his reasons for turning up at an event which has been given a miss by the top athletes of several other sports.

Ashish rose from obscurity with his bronze (floor exercise) and silver (vault) medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He followed it up with a bronze (floor exercise) in the Asian Games that same year but it all went downhill soon after due to injury breakdowns and the lack of a coach to train with.


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