Farmer's daughter Gomathi blazes the track in Doha, mother learns of golden feat from neighbour

The entire village of Mudikandam near Tiruchi is gushing with pride after Gomathi Marimuthu's gold-medal winning performance in the 800m event at the Asian Athletics Championships.

Rasathi, mother of Gomathi Marimuthu who won gold medal in 800m at the Asian Athletics Championship, with trophies and medals her daughter had won earlier, at Mudikandam near Tiruchi.   -  M. Srinath

Rasathi, 52, had gone to work as usual on her 1.5-acre field at Mudikandam on the outskirts of Tiruchi on Tuesday morning, when a neighbour came running with the news of her daughter Gomathi Marimuthu winning a gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championship in Doha.

Though she wasn't able to fully comprehend the magnitude of her daughter’s achievement, the mother's joy knew no bounds as she rushed back home to share the happiness with the villagers. The entire village is gushing with pride after Gomathi’s gold-medal winning performance in the 800 meter event.

Asian Athletics Championship: Key highlights

“Last week, Gomathi told me that she was going abroad to take part in an athletics meet and that she would call me after April 25. Till today morning, I had no idea about her achievement. I am very proud that my girl from this small village has reached such heights with determination and hard work,” Rasathi told Sportstar.

Pillar of support

The youngest of four kids of a farm labourer Marimuthu, Gomathi had displayed interest in athletics from a very young age. She did her graduation in Holy Cross College in Tiruchi before moving out of the city. Her family, and especially her late father Marimuthu who toiled hard in the field to support her, was a pillar of support.

Rasathi poses with Gomathi Marimuthu's trophies and medals outside their home in Mudikandam near Tiruchi.   -  M. Srinath

“In her initial days, she underwent training at St. Joseph’s College ground in Tiruchi under coach Rajamani. To reach there, she had to board the first bus as early as 4.45 a.m," said Gomathi's brother, M. Subramani. "Even after injuring his leg in an accident, our father used to drop Gomathi at the bus stop, which is about five km from our house on the Tiruchi-Madurai national highway,” he recalled.

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With tears in her eyes, Rasathi sighed her husband would have been extremely happy. “But then, I am happy that Gomathi has realised her father’s dreams,” she added.

“We are certain she will bring more laurels to the country,” Ms.Rasathi affirmed with a sense of pride.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday congratulated Gomathi, who is now employed at the Income Tax Department in Bengaluru. He said: “I extend my congratulations and on behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu on you winning the gold medal in the Asian athletics championship.”

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