Mangaluru

Barefoot athletes overlook pain to run

Students participating in relay race at a sportmeet at the Mangala Stadium, in Mangaluru onSaturday. PHOTO: H.S. MANJUNATH

Students participating in relay race at a sportmeet at the Mangala Stadium, in Mangaluru onSaturday. PHOTO: H.S. MANJUNATH   | Photo Credit: H.S.MANJUNATH

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Kishore, a class 12 student from Navodayaya Vidyalaya in Deralakatte, had hurt his foot running barefoot in the 400-metre relay on the synthetic track on Friday. On Saturday, he was back in action despite the pain and competed in the 200-metre sprint.

The cause for the injury on the legs of many athletes like Kishore was their inability to buy shoes required to run on a synthetic track. “This is my first exposure to synthetic track. I have blisters on the foot,” says Mr. Kishore while warming up on the track barefoot for the 200 m sprint. He borrowed spikes from his classmate. “I am not comfortable with these spikes. I will try to give my best,” he said.

In the absence of spikes, many of these students from primary school, secondary school and Pre-University colleges had to run barefoot on the synthetic track at the Mangala Stadium on Saturday. Some students ran wearing torn socks, while some ran wearing canvas shoes. Only a few were seen running with spikes during the two-day athletic event that concluded on Saturday.

Students from 109 schools from Mangalore South Block and 109 PU colleges participated in the sporting event. It was a block-level meet for the schools, while for colleges it was a district-level event.

Balakrishna, who trains students in sprints and high jump, said running barefoot harms the feet, the heel and the ankle. Athletes with spikes had an advantage over those running barefoot as it gives better momentum on the track, he said.

Though agreeing with the problems caused to athletes running barefoot, the organisers said the school and parents should make arrangements for the children participating in the event. An official overseeing the event said, “We are given Rs. 25,000 for organising this event. We cannot arrange for spikes for everyone.” The official said greater support was needed from the State government for athletics.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 1:10:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/barefoot-athletes-overlook-pain-to-run/article6580328.ece

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