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Kavita Raut: A poor village girl's journey to sporting glory

Saturday, October 09, 2010 11:22:12 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: It has been an arduous journey for long distance runner Kavita Raut, a poor tribal girl from Maharashtra, who got into serious athletics nine years ago, and says she is thankful to her coach for having switched her to 10,000 metres that saw her winning a historic bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games.

Kavita started running 1500m and 3000m in 2001 and won her first national silver medal after 15 days of training.

"Then I realised I could do more. Later on I was approached by my personal coach (Vijender Singh) who saw my ability for 10,000 m and with his support I reached this level," said the 25-year old, who bagged country's first-ever women's individual medal in track events here Friday.

In the last edition in Melbourne, the women's 4X400 metres relay team had won a silver while long jumper Anju Bobby George and discus thrower Seema Antil had won the silver and bronze.

Kavita finished with a timing of 33:05.28 minutes in front of some 30,000 spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the gruelling 25-lap race behind Kenyans Kwamboka Momanyi and Chepkwemo Changeywo, who took the gold and silver.

"It has been nine years now. I come from the small village called Savpada in (Maharashtra's) Nashik and did not have much means to start... The journey has been a bit difficult for me but it became easier after I won my first medal," she told media persons here.

Asked about her family, Kavita said besides her parents, she has en elder brother, who now works in Mumbai Police, and a younger brother, who is preparing for the civil services examination.

"Now my parents, as also my brothers, are very proud of me," said Kavita, participating in her first Games.

The Maharashtra government has also announced cash rewards for Kavita. An elated Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal announced a reward of Rs.5 lakh, while Tribal Welfare Minister Babbanrao Pachpute followed suit with a reward of Rs.2.5 lakh for her.







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