Gomathi Marimuthu, the 30-year-old sprinter from Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, scripted a historic win by securing India’s first gold medal in the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
In an epic comeback, Gomathi stormed her way through the home straight to clinch the gold medal in a sensational fashion with her personal best of 2 minutes 02.70 seconds. She outclassed China’s Asian champion Wang Chunyu and Kazakhstan’s former two-time Asiad winner Margarita Mukasheva.
After all the trials and troubles, this was Gomathi’s maiden major gold medal at an international event. The sprint at Doha outsmarted her previous best at the Federation Cup at Patiala where she finished with 2:03.21 seconds.
A daughter of farmers, for Gomathi, started running when she was only 20 years and it’s been ten long years of immense struggle. Despite entering into the sports field a lot later than many top-notch athletes, Gomathi is now the recognisable personality in India.
“I did not realise till I crossed the finish line that I have won a gold medal. The last 150m was a very tight race,” delighted Gomathi later after winning the Gold.
To everyone’s shock, Gomathi Marimuthu said that the shoes she wore a pair of torn shoes during the competition. In her interview with News 18 Tamilnadu, she whole-heartedly thanked her father.
Then she reported that her village lacks proper road facilities. She also went on to add that her village doesn’t have a proper light facility or bus facility. “The politicians themselves would know that it is hard to travel in those roads,” she said.
While talking about the support provided by the state and central government, Gomathi said she did not get any support as good as the co-athletes from other countries.
“Even the shoes I wore during the competition were torn. Those players who ran with me know about it. Even the clothes I wore were not as grand as their clothes but I am not worried about it. Even the money I spent on the flight, hotel rooms were my own money,” she told in her interview.