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Telangana’s Deepthi makes a mark in athletics

Hyderabad: She is just a year into sports but Deepthi has already made a significant mark in athletics. This 14-year-old athlete, whose father Yadagiri is an agricultural labourer from Kalleda in Warangal district, bagged a sprint double in the South Zone and as well as in the National Junior championship in Vijayawada.

Running is her forte and she used to do it in the paddy fields in her village. “I like to run,’’ said Deepthi. But she never had an inkling that she would one day run in competitive athletics. A student of Rural Development School in Warangal, National coach Nagapuri Ramesh, a Dronacharya awardee, spotted Deepthi in the school athletics meet.

“I saw some spark in her and so I immediately asked Kishan Rao, Deputy Superintendent of Police, who contacted school founder Ram Mohan Rao and Deepthi’s parents, whether we can put her in the Sports Hostel. We had to convince her parents,’’ said Ramesh.

Once into the hostel, Deepthi was given intensive training. “She is a very quiet girl. But she took to the nuances of athletics very quickly. I could see her rapid progress. She is a very determined girl. She has good strides, which is ideal for sprint events.’’

Deepthi cornered glory in the State athletics before running to victories in both 100 and 200 metres event in the under-16 category in the South Zone event in Thiruvananthapuram.
Encouraged by the result in the South Zone, Ramesh was confident of a good show in the Nationals. “She has got a very good temperament. That helped her in Vijayawada.’’

Deepthi, who is part of the SAI-Gopichand Mytrah Project, did not disappoint her coach in Vijayawada as she sprinted away to gold both in 100 and 200 metres events. She won the 100 metres in 12.63 seconds while in 200 metres, she triumphed in 25.43 seconds. She also won a bronze in the relay event.

The Gopichand Foundation and Mytrah Foundation (GFMF) Sports Initiative has played a big role in helping Telangana State to win two more silver medals in the Vijayawada National meet.

According to Ramesh, the Telangana Athletics Association has also been a driving force for the young athletes. S Yugendra, whose father drives an auto in Hyderabad, clinched a silver medal in the Nationals in under-14 triathlon with 1,753 points. Hailing from Mahabubnagar, Yugendra earlier bagged a bronze in the South Zone meet.

P Kavya picked up a silver medal in the girls under-18 800 metres event in 2:13.11 seconds at the Vijayawada Nationals. She had captured gold in the South Zone meet. She, too, hails from a poor family as her father works in a printing press in Nalgonda.

According to Ramesh, the GFMF Sports Initiative has been instrumental in promoting promising athletes. “They provide logistics, nutrition and other help to the athletes. It is an initiative that augurs very well for Indian sport.’’

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from Telangana – Telangana Today

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