Decathlete bags silver medal in international meet

FELICITATED:R. Rajesh of Sengattupatti near Thuraiyur  

Decathlete R. Rajesh’s smile says it all. A silver medal in his debut international meet is indeed a proud achievement.

Rajesh of SDAT Sports Hostel, Tiruchi, bagged silver in decathlon at the recently-concluded Asian youth athletics championship in Qatar.

Decathlon comprises 10 track and field events – 100 metres, long jump, shotput, high jump, 400 metres, 110 metres hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw, and 1500 metres – and demands a lot of stamina from the athletes. Rajesh scored a total of 5867 points to finish second.

Rajesh hails from a poor family at Sengattupatti near Thuraiyur.

He joined Sports Hostel in 2012 and since then he has been making steady progress practicing under the watchful eyes of O. Gnanasuganthi, athletics coach at the hostel. “Joining the sports hostel was the turning point in my life,” he says proudly.

At the hostel, Ms. Gnanasuganthi initiated him into combined events.

Initially, Rajesh competed in pentathlon (in the under-16 age category), which comprises five events.

Ms. Gnanasuganthi started imparting training in decathlon after Rajesh moved into the youth category (below 18) last year.

The youngster lived up to the faith reposed in him by his coach by winning gold medal in decathlon bettering the national record in the national youth athletics championship in Goa last month. With the effort, he qualified for the Asian youth championship.

“It was a great feeling representing the country. I will take a lot of confidence from this performance,” says the student of Khajamian Higher Secondary School.

Lauding Rajesh’s sincerity and dedication, Ms. Gnanasuganthi believes that the achievement would spur the youngster to greater heights.

S. Tamilselvan, Regional Senior Manager, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, Tiruchi, P. Kalaiselvan, district sports and youth welfare officer, and N. Annavi, former international high jumper, felicitated the youngster.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 7:40:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/decathlete-bags-silver-medal-in-international-meet/article7221522.ece

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