Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.
Kavita Raut has been one of India’s elite and most experienced long distance runners for a long time. Breaking national records, winning medals at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games – the 30-year-old has done it all.As the Nashik athlete embarks on her Rio Olympic journey in four months’ time, we take a look at her glittering career.
Here are 10 things you need to know about Kavita Raut’s achievements:
- Kavita Raut was born on 5 May 1985 in the tribal village of Sawarpada, situated in Nashik, Maharashtra. She is the middle child in the family with her other two siblings being brothers.
- Right from her childhood, Raut was interested in pursuing a sport. Her family’s poor financial condition led her to choose running as it could be done barefoot and would not create any extra burden.
- She started running in 2001 and soon thrived under the tutelage of Vijendra Singh who tried her out in multiple distances including 1000m, 3000m and 5000m. The bright girl, then aged 16, started showing sparks immediately and captured her first National silver medal after training for just 15 days!Her coach then realized she had the ability to sustain a 10000m race and made her switch to it.
- Her dedicated training and perseverance bore fruit at the 2009 Sunfeast World 10k in Bangalore where she swept the field to create the National Record in 10km road running with a timing of 34:32.
- Her first significant international medal was a bronze in the 5000m at the 18th Asian Athletics Championships held in Guangzhou, China in November 2009.
- She carried on that impeccable form into the 50th National Open Athletics Championships next year as she soared high to take the yellow metal in 10000m. By clocking 32:41.31, she managed to obliterate Preeja Sreedharan’s meet record and set a new one.
- The diligent Raut burst into the spotlight at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi when she clinched the bronze medal in the 10000m. It was a historic achievement as it was the first ever individual track medal won by an Indian woman in the championships. Not only that, it was also the first time any Indian of either gender had grabbed an individual track medal since the legendary Milkha Singh’s gold in 440 yards at the 1958 Cardiff Games.
- Bubbling with confidence, Raut carried her stellar form into the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and captured the silver medal in 10000m, clocking 31:51.44. This was her personal best timing in this race category. Later on, she also added the bronze in 5000m at Guangzhou.
- After having been forced to miss the 2014 Incheon Asian Games due to a stress fracture, Kavita gradually started climbing her way back to the top echelons by picking up a bronze in the 5000m at the Open Nationals and also at the Bangalore Marathon.She followed it up with a series of wins at the Kolkata 25K, the Vasai-Virar half marathon, the Hyderabad 10K and even topped the podium the in half marathon at the Mumbai Marathon next year.
- Her latest accomplishment came at the 12th South Asian Games held at Guwahati in February 2016. The 30-year-old joined compatriots OP Jaisha, Lalita Babbar and Sudha Singh as the fourth Indian to have qualified for the Rio Olympics in women’s marathon by dint of her gold medal win. Her timing of 2 hours 38 minutes and 38 seconds was way within the qualification criterion of 2:42:00.
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