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With a gold and a silver, he walks tall

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G.K. Rathinavel
G.K. Rathinavel

Rayan Rozario

Coimbatore: The first impression wasn’t the best for G.K. Rathinavel. Despite giving his best, he returned home from Thailand earlier this year with just a bronze in hammer throw.

But, that did not deter this ambitious real estate businessman from Coimbatore. He took it in his stride and worked hard the next 10 months. Today, Rathinavel stands tall having clinched a discus gold and shotput silver in the 23rd Malaysian International Open Masters Athletics Championship at the Stadium Perak Ipoh in Malaysia recently. The 44-year-old, a member of the Officers Club, was the lone representative from Coimbatore to don the Indian colours in the Malaysian championship. “It was a memorable experience as I managed to better my previous international performance,” he said.

“In fact, it was the Thailand experience that helped me a great deal. I knew where I went wrong and worked on my techniques accordingly,” he added.

He said the ‘Standing Throw’ did the damage in Thailand. “I saw most of them doing the ‘Gliding’ act. I came back and quickly made the changes. From there, I could see a dramatic improvement in my throws. I tried it in Malaysia, and it clicked as well.” Rathinavel said he was mentally fit. “I kept aside all my business activities a week before the event. It did a world of good to my mindset.”

Rathinavel now plans to break the Asian record in shotput, discus and the hammer throw if given the opportunity. “Participating in international events has become a costly business these days. I managed the Malaysian trip on my own. It cost me dear but I am happy with the returns. It has also upped my morale.” He said there are many talented athletes like him in the city who had the opportunity to take part in the Malaysian championship. “They could not participate for want of sponsorship,” he said.

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