December 12, 2015
A 17-year-old sprinter from Coimbatore, M. Joshua Chelladurai, broke his own record of 10.8 seconds to finish his 100 metres run at 10.6 seconds, in the open junior state meet which was held a month ago in Coimbatore. He has also been shortlisted to represent Tamil Nadu in junior national-level meet to be held at Ranchi.
Joshua, a member of the Kovai Athletic Club, is a student of Class XII at Stanes Higher Secondary School, Coimbatore. He has been an avid athlete for the past seven years. He had participated in various competitions around the country. He won the junior state gold medal in 100 metres which was held at Kumbakonam last July, and was named the best athlete of Tamil Nadu in the under-18 category.
He also represented Tamil Nadu in the south-zone nationals and won a silver medal in relay and bronze medal in 100 metres run. He won the bronze medal in 100 metres at the junior national level meet, representing Tamil Nadu in Ranchi.
“For the past few years I was cowed down by failures and that inspired me to work hard for this success,” Joshua said. “My coach Srinivasan was the person who constantly encouraged me. I also owe it to the other trainers at Kovai Athletic Club,” he added.
Joshua will soon be a part of the national side. “My family had supported me a lot. They get me the entire things which are required for an athlete. I extend my sincere gratitude to my school management and teachers,” he added.
Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, is Joshua’s greatest inspiration. “The most embarrassing moment was when I missed the gold medal opportunity at the junior nationals meet last year. It pushed me to work harder and harder to achieve success,” he said.
“We are proud of our son. The call from the Indian camp is absolutely awesome. We never thought he would come this far when he began running. My sincere thanks to his coach for helping my son improve constantly,” the youngster’s mother said.
When asked about the call from the Indian camp, Joshua smiled and said. “I’m going to work harder and become one of the best athletes in the nation.”