Athletics

S. Geetha relives Olympics experience

Memorable day: S. Geetha receives the Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award from Pranab Mukherjee, the then President of India.  

For S. Geetha, daughter of a cycle spares shop owner in the obscure town of Marteru of West Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, it has been a fabulous journey in the world of athletics —– with the distinction of representing India in the 2004 Athens and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“When I look back, it all looks like a dream. Representing my country in the Olympics was something which I never ever thought of when I started off in athletics in the then AP Sports School (Hakimpet) in 1994,” recalls the 38-year-old Geetha, now settled in Guntur as OSD in South Central Railway.

“I got the support at the right time from so many officials at APSS and I am thankful to many including PET Pradeep sir, SAI athletics coaches M. Ranga Rao and N. Ramesh and the Director Dr. N. Parameswara Ram,” she said in a chat with The Hindu, tracing her journey.

“Making debut in the Olympics in Athens itself was a huge honour for me. I was informed just after the warm-up that I would be competing in the 4x400m relay and we finished eighth in the finals,” said Geetha, who is married to former player and now secretary of Andhra Hockey Association G. Harshavardhan.

“I was nervous and unprepared for the biggest experience of my career. But, somehow I could focus, tried to give my best when I ran the first lap,” recalled the 2006 Asian Games gold medallist in 4x400m relay.

“In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I was relatively relaxed but was disappointed finishing fourth in the semifinals (4x400m),” she said.

Bright chance

Geetha feels the current Indian athletes have very bright chance of winning medals.

“Thanks to the exposure and the wonderful support from the federation, government and SAI, they have been doing really well and I am sure they are going to win some unexpected medals in athletics,” she said.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 10:55:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/s-geetha-relives-olympics-experience/article35157276.ece

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