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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Ravinder Kharia wins Chandigarh its first ever gold in Nationals

While working as a taxi driver,he also trains at Melbourne and hopes to participate in the next Commonwealth Games

Written by Tashi Lundup | Chandigarh | Published: September 19, 2013 2:14:30 am

During the 53rd National Open Athletics Championship held in Ranchi,a dreamy-eyed Ravinder Singh Khaira from Chandigarh got ready for one of his many attempts in the javelin throw event. Although the weather and the rains didn’t make things easy for him,Khera knew he couldn’t settle for less than a gold. However,winning the yellow metal was not the only thing that was on his mind. He wanted to relish the moment more than anything else,for he knew in the coming days he would be doing his usual job,driving a cab in Victoria (Australia) where he has been staying since the last four years.

Despite spending most of his time driving a cab,Ravinder managed to dabble in his favourite hobby.

It was his love for the sport that brought him to India to take part in the Open Nationals. The athlete,who represented Chandigarh in Nationals,made his return sweeter by winning gold in javelin throw. With his 75.47m Chandigarh bagged its first ever gold in Open Nationals.

“It feels proud to have won gold for Chandigarh,the city where i first learnt the sport. I have been participating in the Nationals for the last six-seven years but this is my moment of reckoning,” said the former DAV student.

Though Ravinder was delighted to have won the medal,he knew that he could have broken few other records. The meet record was 77.39m while the four-year-old national record of 80.72m was in the name of Anil Kumar. At the Victorian Institute of Sports,where he trains,Ravinder had touched the 80+ mark on several occasions. Had he repeated one of those performances in Ranchi,he could have given the city twin reasons to cheer for.

“I suffered an elbow injury in April. I was on the verge of qualifying for the world championships but the injury put me on the backfoot. Though I was revved up in Ranchi,the impending weather was a deterrent,” said the 27-year-old.

When Ravinder took to javelin throw,nobody predicted that the Patiala-born athlete would bring home a gold. He had learnt the basics from Ravinder Chaudhary,general secretary of Chandigarh Athletics Association.

Ravinder was in the national camp for two years and was one of the fastest rising talents but he was not satisfied as despite numerous attempts he was not able to find a job. A dejected Ravinder then decided to move to Australia in search of a job.

Even though he has not got the job he wanted,he is satisfied with the way his career has shaped up. “I am the senior most athlete in the institute and it feels nice to be training with some of the best upcoming talents. I am at the top of my game now,” he said.

Now,he hopes for an injury free season and some good performances. “I want to participate in next year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games. I will leave no stones unturned. I want to be ready when the opportunity knocks on my door,” said a hopeful Ravinder.

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