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19 Oct 2021, Edition - 2289, Tuesday

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Coimbatore

Meet the two-time champ of Coimbatore Marathon

Covai Post Network

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To win medals at national levels is the only aim of 23-year-old R. Poongodi, who won the 21 Km Half Marathon at the Coimbatore Marathon – 2015 on Sunday.

Sharing a light moment after her tiring win, the two-time female champion of the Coimbatore Marathon told Covai Post that despite desperately trying for a government job for the sake of her family, she still wants to compete and make her mother proud.

Poongodi finished the Marathon in 1 hour, 33 minutes, and eight seconds, twenty minutes more than her male counterpart – a very impressive feat indeed!

An M. Phil scholar at a private college in Gopichettipalayam, Poongodi continues to run, thanks to the support of her mother, a single parent, and her brother. “My family support is the greatest gift for a female athlete from a village,” she said.

Being the winner of Marathons including the Chennai Marathon in 2013, Night Marathon Coimbatore in 2015, and Salem marathon in 2015, Poongodi’s greatest inspiration is her differently-abled friend Ramya, who has won national medals in shot-put events. “When I first saw her in school, I was stunned by the spirit with which she performed despite her disability,” she added.

However, Poongodi admitted that she was forced to join athletics because she was jealous of her brother. “I used to get very jealous when I used to see him run. That was how I got involved in athletics. But now that I have won so many medals, my brother has stopped running,” she says with a laughter.

“My mother is a daily wages labourer. She worked very hard, but she gave me the freedom to pursue my dreams. I can never thank her enough,” she adds.

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