Thursday, September 02, 2004
Pain is short, Glory is forever
In a cricket crazy nation, so many other sport & sport personalities are not given there due respect.Here is one of those.Among the karnam malleshwari's and so many dopers.There is this one athlete who has showed what sportsmenship is and has showed all you need is a big heart.
ATHENS:It was the story of an Indian girl’s courage that found centrestage at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday. More than 75,000 spectators gave a standing ovation to heptathlete J J Shobha under the floodlights.
During the javelin throw, Shobha tripped her leading left leg on the arc, injuring a knee ligament. She was carried out on a stretcher writhing in pain. And just when everyone thought her Olympic dream had ended, she was back in the arena for the last event of the competition, the 800 metres.
She began the race with a heavily bandaged knee supported with splints, wobbled through the first lap, trailing the others by some 10 metres. But at the 500-metre mark it was total transformation as she appeared a woman possessed.
One by one she overtook her rivals and by the time she negotiated the last curve she was threatening to overtake all of them. In the last 50 metres she sprinted gallantly and managed to finish third in 2:17.28 for 918 points, close to her personal best of 2:16.40.
Interestingly, while the crowds were delirious by her act and clapping all through the race, the giant electronic scoreboard in the stadium flashed DNS (Did Not Start) against her name in the start list. This happened because the official doctors had ruled her out of competition.
``She can't even walk for a week at least,'' they proclaimed. But then the Indian resilience took over. Indian contingent doctor Arun Mendiratta took charge of Shobha and after some pain killers and bandages, made Shobha run again much to the surprise of the Greek medics.
``I never thought I could make it,'' a beaming Shobha said after the two-day grind of the heptathlon was over for her on a happy note. She finished a creditable 11th among 33 participants with 6,172 points in an event of the sort few Indians dare take part.
``If my knee had not given the problem, I would have improved my national record which I have missed by 39 points.'' the 26-year-old Hyderabadi athlete said.
After completing the 800 metres, Shobha lay sprawled near the finish line. And in a rare gesture, Kylie Wheeler of Australia, completely exhausted herself, pulled our girl up. They hugged each other and limped out of the track hand in hand.
On her way to the 11th spot, Shobha's victims included two Americans, two Germans, one each from China, Britain, Japan and Finland among others. Shobha finished 780 points away from gold medalist Carolina Kluft of Sweden, but just 252 points short of bronze winner Kelly Sotherton of Britain.