India’s first gold at the 23rd Asian athletics championships came from an unlikely source at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday.
Gomathi Marimuthu ran the race of her life, with a smart strategy, as she fought her way from the back of the pack and shocked the field to take the women’s 800m honours.
It was the 30-year-old Tamil Nadu athlete’s first major gold.
Gomathi made her move on the back straight and midway through the home straight.
With the two leading runners virtually blocking her, she smartly moved to the outer lane, surprised Kazakhstan’s Margarita Mukasheva and China’s Wang Chunyu and took the coveted medal in a personal best 2:02.70s.
Her previous best (2:03.21) was the golden run at the Federation Cup at Patiala recently.
A daughter of farmers, for Gomathi, who only began professionally running when she was 20, it’s been ten long years of intense struggle.
What stands out through her incredible story is the two qualities all the great athletes in the world share—character and conviction.
Despite starting her career a lot later than many elite athletes, Gomathi is the name on the lips of all the major sports media publications in India.
As fans of Indian athletics, we hope she continues to set the bar higher, winning greater glories for herself, her family and her country.