Three talented athletes who triumphed over adversity
The Andhra Trio of K. Rajitha (400m Gold), S. Pallavi (64kg Weightlifting) and M. Sireesha (400m Bronze) who won medals in Khelo India Youth Games in Panchkula (Haryana) has defied extreme hardship and financial constraints to make it this far.
Rajitha, belonging to the Koya tribe, lost his father at a very young age and his mother Bhadramma, a worker, had to take care of five children in the village of Ramachandrapuram in East Godavari (AP). “It was a daily fight, to survive. But my mother, like a real warrior, never gave up,” Rajitha said.
Firstly, it was Andhra Pradesh Sports Authority coaches Vamsi Sai Kiran and Krishna Mohan who saw the spark in Rajitha and later Athletics coach SAI N. Ramesh honed his skills in Hyderabad where she trained at her own expense.
Sireesha, 18, from Mandarada village in Srikakulam, is another shining example of an athlete’s triumph over adversity. Her father Krishnam Naidu, a worker, suffered a fatal accident in 2019 and since then her mother Gowri, also a worker, has taken care of the family.
“Despite the sudden passing of my father, who encouraged me to take up athletics at the age of 14, my mother insisted that I continue my athletic career. For a long time, two meals were for us a luxury. This is my first medal at the Khelo India Games,” said Sireesha, who also trains with Ramesh as a trainee at the SAI Academy.
For his part, Ramesh said the main challenge was sustainability.
“Rajitha has the potential to get into the Indian 4x400m team as she is an excellent student and has excellent running judgment. Undisturbed training and working to support her family could see her go places” , said Ramesh. The Hindu.
“Sireesha is one of those athletes who will fight for the place undeterred by any level of competition,” added Ramesh.
On Pallavi, Badeti Venkatramaiah, Vice President of the All India Weightlifting Federation (Eluru), said she has all the qualities to be a world beater. “Hopefully she gets the right kind of support at the right time,” he said.