Orphaned at 7, reared by daily-wager, Revathi Veeramani will sprint for India at the Tokyo Olympics

Orphaned at 7, reared by daily-wager, Revathi Veeramani will sprint for India at the Tokyo Olympics

“Once my name was confirmed for the Olympics, I went blank for some time and my entire journey flashed before my eyes,” an emotional Revathi Veeramani told TOI after she qualified for the Tokyo Games. The 23-year-old Tamil Nadu sprinter’s journey has been a story of battling odds, poverty and the numerous hurdles, common to many Indian sportsmen who dare to dream but often do not have the means.
Revathi, part of the 4x400m Indian mixed relay team, lost both her parents by the time she turned seven and was brought up by her grandmother Arammal who worked as a daily wager. She began her running sojourn barefooted as buying a pair of shoes was a luxury her family couldn’t afford.
During a zonal meet at the MGR Race Course Stadium in Madurai in 2014-15, K Kannan, coach at Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) centre in Madurai, saw Revathi in action. Though she didn’t win the event, Kannan saw a spark in the then 17-year-old and was keen to train her

“Once my name was confirmed for the Olympics, I went blank for some time and my entire journey flashed before my eyes,” an emotional Revathi Veeramani told TOI after she qualified for the Tokyo Games. The 23-year-old Tamil Nadu sprinter’s journey has been a story of battling odds, poverty and the numerous hurdles, common to many Indian sportsmen who dare to dream but often do not have the means.
Revathi, part of the 4x400m Indian mixed relay team, lost both her parents by the time she turned seven and was brought up by her grandmother Arammal who worked as a daily wager. She began her running sojourn barefooted as buying a pair of shoes was a luxury her family couldn’t afford.
During a zonal meet at the MGR Race Course Stadium in Madurai in 2014-15, K Kannan, coach at Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) centre in Madurai, saw Revathi in action. Though she didn’t win the event, Kannan saw a spark in the then 17-year-old and was keen to train her.

Her breakthrough moment arrived in 2016 when she won gold medals in 100m, 200m and 4X100m relay at the junior Nationals in Coimbatore.
“That particular performance made me realise that Revathi was meant for bigger things,” said Kannan.

Revathi was coached by Kannan till 2019 before she shifted her base to Patiala to be part of the national camp. While she primarily ran in the 100m and 200m events at the initial phase of her career, Revathi became a quarter-miler thanks to Galina Bukharina, India’s 400m coach.
In 2019, Revathi won the women’s 400m events in Indian Grand Prix 5 and 6 clocking 54.44 and 53.63 seconds respectively.

A knee injury kept her out of action during the first part of the current season but Revathi made a comeback to win the 400m event at the Indian Grand Prix 4 last month. The final trial to select the 4x400m relay event saw Revathi finish on top with a timing of 53.55 seconds.
The trip to Tokyo also means the talk of Revathi’s marriage is put on the backburner for now.
“My grandmother had plans of getting me married but thanks to the Olympics, she has changed her mind and wants me to continue what I am doing,” said Revathi, who is employed as a ticket collector with the Southern Railway in Madurai.

Ms. Revathi Veeramani from madurai district of Tamil Nadu presently India at Tokyo Olympics in 4×400 Meter Relay Race

https://m.timesofindia.com/sports/tokyo-olympics/orphan-at-7-reared-by-daily-wager-revathi-veeramani-will-sprint-for-india-at-the-tokyo-olympics/amp_articleshow/84516267.cms

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