It was a memorable day for Kavita Raut when she won Gold Medal in the marathon at South Asian Games (SAG) and also got qualified for 2016 Rio Olympics. With this victory she joined the group of OP Jaisha, Lalita Babar and Sudha Singh who have made space in the Rio’s women marathon. In an interview to Organiser sub-editor Nishant Kr Azad, Kavita shared her feelings on winning the gold and being qualified for Rio Olympics. Excerpts:
- What do you feel on winning Gold in the Marathon at SAG 2016?
I felt very happy when I won the Gold Medal in SAG 2016 games at Guwahati and my dream came true when I got qualified for the Rio Olympics 2016.
n You became the fourth Bharateeya woman to have qualified for the Rio Games Women’s Marathon. What do you feel?
I feel very proud to represent Bharat in Rio Olympics. Yes, I am the fourth womsn to qualify for the Rio Olympics achieving the present year best timing of 2:38.38 in full marathon. My family, coach and well wishers and I all have worked hard for this day, and we have proved. My responsibility has increased and I will practice more to do best in the Rio.
n Having grown up at a place that did not offer much opportunities, how tough was it for you to nurture yourself?
I belong to a remote Vanvasi area, where we have to struggle for the basic need everyday. I was in a government boarding school Thanapada earlier and then after in Vishwa Hindu Boarding school at Harsul, Maharashtra. When I used to participate in school competitions, my personal coach Shri Vijendra Singh spotted my talent and asked me to start career in sports. But in childhood, I used to participate in various games just to see the nearby places and the city life. Because this was the only medium to travel at no personal cost. But when my sir asked me to start career in sport my parent denied. It took two years to convince my parents. At last my parents granted permission to receive training under Vijendra Singh Sir. After that we moved to Nashik.
The major problem was where to stay at Nashik, but Sir kept me at his home as a family member. From there my actual training began, and I became National Champion within three months. Later, I got opportunity at National camp Bengaluru and performed well in Commonwealth Games 2010 as well as Asian Games 2010. It all happened only because of my personal Coach Vijendra Singh and my parents who kept faith in me.
n After marriage how do you manage the double duty?
I am thankful to my husband Maheshkumar Waman Tungar for his support. Whenever there was failure, he was the person who motivated and stood alongwith me. Today, I am participating in Olympics. It became possible only because of his motivation and support. His family always supported me. I think, it is the best example that after marriage also sports can be on top of the agenda.
n How Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram helped you?
I am from a Vanvasi family and the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram always supported me whatever condition was. Because of their blessings and support I represented Bharat in sports at international level.
n Tell me something about the Eklavya Athletics and Sport Institute, which you run?
Yes, we run Eklavya Athletics and Sport Institute. As I faced countless challenges in my career to achieve these milestones, now it is my responsibility to motivate and help the upcoming athletes from Vanvasi areas. Local representatives, Doctors in Nashik, state government and many more help us to make progress in this project.
Presently, dozens of trained athletes from this institute represent Bharat at different levels. Most of them are middle and long distance national record holder athletes. n