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26 Aug 2019, Edition - 1504, Monday

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Coimbatore

Coimbatore housemaid leaps to international fame in a year, needs support to run in Spain

Tysion Prabhu B

Coimbatore: M Vasanthi is 36 years old washing utensils in restaurants and homes. She is not just a maid, but an international athlete who in very short time won gold at the national level in steeplechase, conducted by Masters Athletics Federation of India in Bengaluru. She has been selected to the international event to be conducted in Spain this September.

Vasanthi started her athletic career just a year ago and became an international star in a year. She started at the marathon conducted in Pollachi where she secured the third place, running barefoot. Identifying her talent, Vairavanathan, coach in Genesis Club, encouraged her and has been coaching her since then.

With this encouragement, she participated in an event organised by District Athletics Association here and bagged gold in 800, 1,500 and 5,000 metres. Likewise, she secured gold in 800, 1500 and 500 meters at the state level in Karur. Then she went off to represent the State at the national level competition in Bengaluru and bagged silver in 800, 1,500 and 5,000 meters. In the same event, she participated in steeplechase and won gold.

From a small village in Trichy, Vasanthi in her school days had no experience in athletics. However, she managed to finish third in her very first marathon. In her early days she used to participate in marathons onlyto repay her debts.

M Vasanthi told The Covai Post that her husband is a private bus driver in the city and she has to work in hotels and homes to help the family. Owing to her family situation, Vasanthi did not pursue studies beyond Grade VII. Her children Manikandan of Grade XII and Kiruthika of Grade X have been participating in athletics at the district level.

Her husband Anand has been very supportive, she says adding that full credit goes to her coach, “who has been training me without any fees”.

“Vasanthi would come to stadium to pick her children. One day, I suggested that she participate in the veteran event at Nehru Stadium. She bagged gold in her first event itself says,” said Vairavanathan.

Hailing from a poor family background, it is difficult to get adequate fund and she financially needs help to participate in the Spain event, he adds.

To support her one can contact 9042889888 (coach Vairavanathan).

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