When Tamil Nadu's V. Revathi struck a golden double in the junior national athletics meet in Coimbatore, many were surprised as she was just a newcomer to the track. But the young girl from Madurai preferred to stay away from all the media glare here on Monday.
She did that probably because there were other things in her mind – her parents. She lost them both to tuberculosis and brain fever as a four-year-old. She missed them both badly. It was quite evident as she tried holding her tears when a few journalists asked about their absence on the track.
After she bid adieu to her parents, it was her grandmother who came to her aid. She took her talented grand-daughter under her wings and encouraged her all the way to the track.
Revathi, who studied in a government school, focussed well and started sprinting confidently. Life changed for the better for this second year BBA Tamil student at the Lady Doak College when the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) coach K. Kannan picked her for training.
“I picked her in one of the zonal meets. She was blessed with great speed and I changed only a few techniques,” said Kannan.
Reluctance to use shoes
Kannan, who was guided by the late Ramanathan, a former international who has groomed the likes of champion athletes Charles Borromeo, Gnanasekaran and A. Rajan, pointed out that Revathi loved to run barefoot. “It took a few months for me to convince her to wear shoes. She would quietly remove the shoes and carry it with her hands during event.”
Kannan believes the next two years will see the best from this young girl.
“I am working on her stride length and speed frequency. I have clearly told her that if she wants to dedicate something nice to her parents above she has to excel in sports. And, I am sure she will do that.”
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