Sprinter Avantika Narale wears favourite tag

SPORTS REPORTER
Wednesday, 9 January 2019

“My coaches Sanjay Patankar and Sudhakar Memane and I have set clear targets for this week. And I am confident that I can achieve them.”

Pune: Avantika Narale wears her favourite’s tag with confidence, comfort and awareness. The 15-year-old, who rewrote Dutee Chand’s 200m national junior record, wants to lower her personal best time in front of her home crowd.

“Yes, I want to get personal best times and lower the national junior record so much that it remains in my name for some years,” she says. 

“My coaches Sanjay Patankar and Sudhakar Memane and I have set clear targets for this week. And I am confident that I can achieve them.”

The fastest girl last year in Delhi, she also claimed the sprint double at the national junior athletics championships in Ranchi last November. She clocked 12.38s in the 100m and 24.96s in the 200m to break Dutee Chand’s record in the Under-16 division.

Later, at the SGFI National School Games, she logged 12.08s and 24.60s. Avantika is keen to draw more attention in the hope of alleviating her family’s financial position. Her father, Santosh Narale, has given up his work as a plumber, to be with her.

“I am sure that I will be able to help my family overcome tough situation but I have been blessed to have them and other mentors by my side,” she says.

Her eyes sparkle with intensity as she breaks into a wide grin when recalling that her maiden appearance on track at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi near here.

“My teacher, Shivaji Mehetre, who used to see me play kabaddi, asked me to run for our school. I ran barefoot and I ended up blisters and the gold medal.” 

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