National junior athletics championships: Pavana makes a mark in style

At the Junior National athletics championships in Guwahati, a 15-year-old Pavana broke the national girls' under-16 record with a 1.73m jump.

Pavana after her feat in Guwahati.   -  Special Arrangement

When she was an active international athlete, high jumper Sahana Kumari had no choice but to take her young daughter Pavana along to her training sessions. Sahana's husband, former international sprinter, B.G. Nagaraj, was busy on the track too, leaving no one at home to take care of the child.

Having watched her mother put in the hard yards for all those years, it comes as no surprise that Pavana would be bitten by the high jump bug.

Cut to the recent Junior National athletics championships at Guwahati, a 15-year-old Pavana broke the national girls' under-16 record with a 1.73m jump. The family now boasts of two reigning national record holders, with Sahana setting a record (1.92m) in the 2012 Inter-State senior athletics championships at Hyderabad.

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“Pavana would tag along with me to practice daily. It was natural for her to get interested in track and field,” Sahana told Sportstar on Wednesday, hours after Pavana was named the ‘Best Athlete’ in the girls’ under-16 section of the national championship.

Pavana, a keen sprinter until a couple of years ago, moved to high jump on a whim. “In an inter-school meet in Bengaluru, Pavana did not do well in her pet 100m event. She was very upset, and asked the coach if she could enter the high jump event. Pavana had never attempted high jump before that, but she managed to win the gold medal. That is where her high jump journey began,” Sahana said.

Sahana has high hopes for Pavana, who trains at the JSW Inspire Institute of Sport in Vidyanagar (Bellary). “I have competed in the Olympics and Asian Games. I want Pavana to win medals at the Olympics and Asian Games,” Sahana said.

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