Sibling rivalry to the fore

Special Correspondent
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Sister act:A.P. Shelda (second from right) and younger sister A.P. Shilbi (second from left) in action in the 100m senior girls event.— Photo: S. Mahinsha
Sister act:A.P. Shelda (second from right) and younger sister A.P. Shilbi (second from left) in action in the 100m senior girls event.— Photo: S. Mahinsha

The second day of the four-day 56th State schools athletics meet at the University stadium here saw an interesting tussle between two sisters hailing from Alappuzha. A.P. Shelda and her younger sister A.P. Shibli were pitted against each other in the senior girls 100m and when the duo crossed the line in the first and third positions respectively, their father, Purushothaman, could hardly contain his joy.

A fisherman by profession, Purushothaman, despite his two daughters being crowded by the camera crew of television channels and photographers of the print media, ran straight to Shelda and Shibli to wrap them in his arms.

Tears of joy dripped from his cheeks and he was at loss of words as mikes were thrust towards Purushothaman.

Shelda finished the race at 12.53s for the gold medal and Shibili at 12.79s even as P.M. Anju (HS Parli, Palakkad) came in between and took the silver.

Students of A.B.V. Higher Secondary School, Muhamma, the achievement of the two sisters was yet another reminder of how Kerala athletes have done well overcoming the odds.

Enormous sacrifices

Being forced to train in the 200m track at their school, both Shelda and Shibli, pointed out later, on the enormous sacrifices they have been forced to endure through the last three years.

“But all that is a thing of the past. It is the severe odds that we faced which gave us the courage and determination to perform well and get these medals,” they said in unison.

While Shelda remained all smiles, Shibli, however, broke down after a while.

“I had a bad start and that is what cost me the silver. I actually had wanted to finish straight behind my sister, whom I knew would win the race comfortably,” Shibli said.

Nevertheless the fight between the two sisters and the regard with which they treated each other in the hour of glory was indeed heart warming.

They do have miles to go but that could be beyond the reach of their father, the only bread winner of the family, who is right now under treatment for a shoulder injury.

Naturally they need to be treated in a better fashion by the powers-that-be. But is someone at the Kerala State Sports Council listening?

  • Both Shelda and Shibli, pointed out the enormous sacrifices they had made through the last three years

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