Gomathi Marimuthu opened the gold account for India at the Asian Athletics Championships currently being held in Doha. For the 30-year-old athlete, this is only the third international event. She won gold in women’s 800m race which is her first medal in any major tournament.
Along with her Tejinderpal Singh Toor also clinched gold as India completed winning five medals at the end of the second day on April 22.
Tough Journey Of Gomathi Marimuthu
It has been a tough journey for Gomathi who comes from an agricultural background with no one to guide her properly at the initial stage. Incidentally, she is the only one in her family to go to college and she always wanted to give something back to her family.
Once she got a job in an income tax office in Bengaluru she started training on a regular basis and never looked back. She was first selected for the Asian Championships (Pune) in 2013 and 2015 where she came at 7th and 4th spot respectively.
Her run towards success was halted by the sudden demise of her father and her groin injury. According to Gomathi Marimuthu after the death of her father things really became bleak. She said, “My mother went into depression after dad passed away. It was very difficult to get her to do anything. The whole family was dependent on me.”
The trail of setbacks continued as she also lost her coach to death during these hard times. Gomathi said,” I had no one to train me. I had to provide for the family as well.” Despite such difficult situations Gomathi fought back, continued her training and clocked her career-best 2:02:70s and won the gold medal.
Gomathi Sets Example
At an age when athletes start planning their retirement, with her achievement, Gomathi has shown that age is no bar if intentions and efforts are in the right direction. Her never die spirit is an inspiration for young women athletes. After winning the gold medal, she said, “I did not realize till I crossed the finish line that I have won a gold medal. The last 150m was a very tight race.”
Apart from Gomathi, pre-competition favorite and national record holder Toor bagged gold in men’s shot put final at the Khalifa Stadium. Shivpal Singh (silver for men’s javelin throw), Jabir Madari Palliyalil (bronze for men’s 400m), and Saritaben Gayakwad (women’s 400m) were the other winners.
The total tally of India on the second day stood at 2 gold, 3 silver, and 5 bronze.