Earlier this month, Annu Rani scripted history as she became the first Indian woman to win a medal for javelin throw in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Rani, who has previously broken her own national records over nine times, was one of the only three players to land her javelin over the 60-metre mark in Birmingham.
As the whole country congratulated the 29-year-old for her bronze medal, Anand Mahindra, the chairman of Mahindra Group, retweeted a post about Rani’s first coach – her brother Upendra. The story, done by Indian Express’s Andrew Amsan, documented how Upendra inspired Annu Rani to take up the javelin and coached her using sugarcanes from their fields.
Mahindra’s tweet soon gathered thousands of likes within 24 hours. Many netizens appreciated Rani’s determination and her brother Upendra’s relentless support.
Commenting on the post, a Twitter user wrote, “👏👏🙏🙏 These are stories of courage and sacrifice… Behind every successful Sportsman or Sportswoman.” Another person remarked, “Humble start ! This proves that real talent can be nurtured anywhere ; not necessarily only under professional coaches & stadiums.”
However, many people also pointed out that despite winning laurels, sportspersons in India do not get enough State support. Echoing this view, a Twitter user opined, “Meerut has given many athletes but does not have a single synthetic track yet. What an athlete want is better equipped place to prepare and practice. Financial help also needed. But in long run those better equipped places will help India always.”