Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): From setting national records in Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) to breaking multiple meet records in several athletics disciplines, some state athletes have established supremacy on many fronts. Running ahead and jumping higher than everyone else, these athletes overcame financial constraints to qualify for international competitions. There are 56 star athletes in Madhya Pradesh State Athletics Academy. Of them, four shone brighter because of their accomplishments. These athletes train under six coaches and chief coach Sanjay Garnaik. On eve of World Athletics Day, Free Press spoke to some of them. Excerpts
Dev Meena: Pole vault
With one Khelo India Youth Games national record and one national meet record to his name, Dev Meena, a farmer’s son, has been making it to the top podium in the national arena for a long time. Recently, he won a gold medal in junior men's event and also qualified for Junior Asian Championships. Meena doesn’t even have a smart phone. His coach Ghanshyam said, "He’ll take my phone to Asian Championships."
Bushra Khan: Runner
The golden girl of Madhya Pradesh made her way up to the top podium few months after her father’s death. From running on spikes bought with her father’s death compensation money and clinching gold in Khelo India Youth Games 2022 to qualifying for Asian Championships with a national meet record to herself, Bushra Khan is a name that India will keep hearing and cheering for. After her father’s death, Khan became the sole breadwinner for her family.
Himanshu Mishra: Javelin throw
Farmer’s son Himanshu has been creating waves on the national and international javelin runway with his powerful throws. This first-generation sportsman in his family, despite being injured, has won silver in Khelo India and Youth National and one Asian bronze medal. He made headlines during KIYG when he won gold for MP on his home ground.
Abhay Singh: Runner
National meet record holder Abhay Singh has been dominating the running track for a while now. He is a silver and bronze medallist at Youth Asian Championship. This boy, who is creating records and winning medals in both national and international arenas, was raised by his mother.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)