This Nagpur lad is the fastest skater of India


All set to represent India at Asia Champions Cup in China, skating ace Nikhilesh Tabhanehas Bollywood dreams in his eyes
At 25, this youngster has won the tag of being the national champ for the past four years consecutively in 300 metresspeed-skating. All set to participate in the Asia Champions Cup, Nikhilesh Tabhane, is candid enough to admit: “My next goal is to become the world champion.”
Cricketing turf is too cluttered
Ask him why did he opt for skating, and Nikhilesh is quick to react: “Everyone wants to be a cricketer these days, a turf that is tad too cluttered already. So, I thought of taking up a sport in which I set the benchmark and raise the bar too. The fact that the first bank track of India started in Nagpur in 2001, also helped me take this decision.”

Eyes on 2018 winter OlympicsThe youngster reveals that after having completed his engineering and MBA, he decided not to take up a corporate job, and goes on to add : “I now want to deviate to ice skating and represent India at 2018 winter Olympics because speed skating is not included in Olympic Games, so right now I’m totally engrossed in my training. In fact, before China, I’m leaving for Columbia, where I will train for a few weeks before the Asian Championship.”

Bollywood callingThe tall, good-looking lad admits that he gets “plenty of attention from the girls” and blithely adds: “I realise that many girls like me, but I can’t afford to get into a relationship right now. My focus is on my game. Later, I also want to enter Bollywood and modelling. I have already done a small appearance in Amol Gupte’s film Hawaa Hawaai; I feel I have the right physique and temperament for Hindi film industry, so that is the next big thing on my radar.”
Inspiration: Salman KhanInterestingly, it was Bollywood’s Dabangg Salman Khan, who has indirectly played a major role in Nikhilesh taking up skating. The athlete reveals: “It was after watching Salman Khan in the film Patthar Ke Phool that I finally decided to make skating my career. He looked terrific on the skateboard and that was my deciding moment!”

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