TAMIL NADU

Grit guides him to great heights

T. Saravanan

Badri Narayan returns with a bronze medal from Israel sports meet

Madurai: Perseverance always pays. And it has not disappointed the physically challenged R. Badri Narayanan, whose dream of fetching a medal at an international sports meets has come true at last.

The path to success never did run smooth for this B.Com. graduate. Braving all odds, he has returned with a bronze medal at the 7th Israel Open Disabled Championship in Jerusalem held between March 22 and 25.

While his contemporaries, representing different countries, did not have to spend from their pocket to participate in this tournament, he had to shell out more than Rs.1 lakh.

Hailing from a poor family, he did not have the wherewithal to meet the expenses. Despite all shortcomings, he came out with flying colours bringing laurels to the country.

"Though we were six Indians in the tournament, I was the only representative from Tamil Nadu. I struggled initially to cope with the alien environment. It took me quite sometime to acclimatise. But once I got into the groove I was on song," said 25-year-old Badri Narayanan.

Pitted against top ranked players in the second round league, which ultimately decided the finalists, he was poorly placed due to lack of technical guidance. Still he did put up a creditable performance to claim the bronze medal.

Incidentally, it was his maiden medal-winning effort.

Discouragement from his family members did not deter his spirits and, in fact, invigorated him to achieve. "I know my limitations. I have already passed my prime age. I am old for the game like badminton. But I believe I have a good five years of active career in sports. Hence, within that period I want to achieve something big, which I will definitely do," he exuded confidence.

He did not stop with that tournament. He expressed his willingness to participate in another badminton championship held in the same city.

But to his misfortune he was not able to play, as the organisers did not find sufficient number of entries in his category.

Enthusiasm triumphs

But, on seeing his enthusiasm, they asked him to officiate matches, which he considered as an honour and earned encomiums.

Overwhelmed with joy, his coach, R. Parasuraman, physical education teacher of the Thiagarajar Model Higher Secondary School said, "The medal is a reward for his struggle."