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Undeterred by asthma, Maharashtra’s star sprinter Sudeshna wins three gold medals at Khelo India

Sudeshna of Maharashtra who blazed the track during the ongoing Khelo India Games as she bagged three gold medals in track and field events (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@DDIndialive)

Athletes remain undeterred by failures and obstacles thrown at them by life. A classic example of this is Maharashtra’s sprint star Sudeshna. The fastest girl at the ongoing Khelo India Youth Games who gave a standout performance by completing a hat-trick – winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold – suffers from asthma since her childhood.

Apart from winning, Sudeshna’s timings in Panchkula – 11.79 secs in 100m and 24.29 sec in 200m – were better than the qualification standard set by the Athletics Federation of India for the World U20 Championships.

Her father, Hanmant Shivankar, concerned about her health when she was a child, refused permission to participate in an athletics event. On learning that she had gone ahead with it, , his heart skipped a beat. “A wave of panic gripped me,” he told the media as the family had done their best to keep her away from smoke and dust.

“I somehow got to know about it and raced to the event, hoping to stop her. But, by the time I reached the venue, Sudeshna had already won the race,” recalled Shivankar.

From then on there was no stopping for her. She was spotted by coach Balwant Babar who saw great potential in her.

Remembering that incident, Sudeshna said: “Since that day, of course, they (family) have extended every support that I needed.”

It was her PT teacher who had urged her to participate as he had seen her playing kho-kho with other girls and found her speed in running amazing.

With regular training and advancing age, Sudeshna’s health condition has improved.

Unable to clock the qualifying time for the U20 World Championships to be held at Cali, Colombia from August 1, at the National Federation Cup Juniors Meet in Nadiad, Gujarat, she has petitioned the Athletics Federation of India to consider her performance at Khelo India Games for the World U20 selection.

Having blazed the tracks in India, she is ready to storm the international arena.