Accompanied by her five-year-old daughter Pavana, and athlete husband B.G. Nagaraj, the high jumper remembered how the Correspondent of Gokarnanatheshwara College always encouraged her.

Athlete Sahana Kumari, who has booked her berth in the London Olympics with a national record breaking high jump, attributed her success to mother Yashoda, and Purushotham Poojary, the physical education director at her alma mater Gokarnanatheshwara College, Gandhinagar. The college, from where Ms. Kumari graduated in 2002, organised a rousing reception to the Olympics hopeful on Monday.

“Of course I worked hard. I have struggled a lot. But then there are those who have helped me,” she said at the reception.

“Without their help, it would have been difficult to achieve what I have.”

Ms. Kumari, 31, qualified for the Olympics with a 1.92-metre jump in Hyderabad recently, eclipsing an eight-year-old national record.

Accompanied by her five-year-old daughter Pavana, and athlete husband B.G. Nagaraj, the high jumper remembered how the Correspondent of Gokarnanatheshwara College always encouraged her and how Mr. Poojary arranged funds from philanthropists for her travel to competitions. “When I recall those days, I feel electrified. I was not even a national-level player then,” she said.

Ms. Kumari said she was happy that athletes from her college were excelling year after year and bringing laurels to it. She said she wanted the college to become synonymous with sports and known to every one.

Mr. Poojary hoped that Ms. Kumari would bring a medal to India from London. The college gave Ms. Kumari Rs. 25,000. A businessman gave her Rs. 25,000. Faculty member B. Narasimha Murthy highlighted the achievements of Ms. Kumari. He said athletes such as international Kabaddi player Mamatha Poojary and power lifters Deepa Kulal, Anitha Poojary, who had won national level medals, were from Gokarnanatheshwara College.

Ms. Kumari visited her school, Anandashrama, in Ullal. Her school teachers also wished her best and hoped that she would come back with a medal from London.

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