On Friday, the 20-year old gymnast stood on the podium with a gold medal around his neck in the Khelo India Youth Games representing Maharashtra. He scored 73.55 points overall at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi.
However, Bayaskar had other thoughts. “He knew that he had won with one routine left and gave away points in still rings,” he said referring the 11 points Arik gathered in still rings (his lowest).
“Today, I will let him celebrate but tomorrow I will reprimand him,” he said talking about his student Arik, who was employed by Indian Navy in 2016 as a petty officer in Malad, Mumbai.
He topped three out of six categories to edge past Uttar Pradesh’s Agnivesh Pandey (71.35). Floor exercise (12.35) and pommel horse (11.75) is where Arik raced away from the rest.
For most of the routines, Arik had nerves of steel topped with stone-cold execution. Only because for the last three years, his daily schedule only revolves around gymnastics. Mornings go in muscle training while evenings go in executing the routines.
His social life has taken a hit. “I have someone friends in who do gymnastics. I have left a lot of my friends behind. Especially family…I miss them a lot,” as Arik told TOI. “But medals like these are what I left home for. Gymnastics is my passion.”