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GRIT: P. Somasundaralingam.
GRIT: P. Somasundaralingam.

Mohamed Imranullah S.

“The irony is that he does not have as much money as his self-confidence”

MADURAI: P. Somasundaralingam (22) of Peraiyur near here was studying fourth standard in 1994 when his left leg below the knee was crushed under the wheels of a speeding lorry during a ‘padayatra’ (pilgrimage on foot) to Tirupparankundram temple. He was demobilised and tied to hospital beds for over a year. His father, a Government bus conductor, was shattered to see his only son in such a condition. And his mother, sister and grandmother blamed themselves for being “ill-fated.”

Medal after medal

Now, after 15 years, there are no qualms and the entire family is in a jubilant mood to see Somasundaralingam come out with flying colours and win medal after medal, not in academics but athletics!

Supported by an artificial limb, the youth completed the 100-metre sprint in a matter of seconds to win a gold medal in an international sports and talent meet for the physically challenged in Chennai on September 19 last year.

His latest achievements were two gold medals — one in standing cricket and another in discus throw — besides two bronze medals in shot-put and volleyball events in a meet held here between January 31 and February 1 for the southern States. He had won silver in a shot-put at the fourth Junior National Athletics Championships conducted by Paralympic Committee of India in Bangalore in February 2007 and a bronze in running race at another national meet held in Chennai the same year.

The youth has also represented the State as an all-rounder in national cricket tournaments conducted by the All India Cricket Association for the Disabled in Mumbai twice in 2007 and in a zonal (south) tournament in 2006.

“The irony is that he does not have as much money as his self-confidence. For long, he is in search of sponsorship for purchasing good quality prosthesis to create more records in the track and field events,” his friend G. Prem Kumar said.

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