During the medal distribution ceremony for the 100 metre hurdles on the Federation Cup on Wednesday, officers have been left confused due to comparable sounding names of identical twins, one in every of whom had received the bronze.
At first look, it’s tough to inform aside 22-year-old Nithya Ramraj, the third-placed finisher, from her twin sister Vithya who’s a medal contender within the 400 metre hurdles ultimate to be held on Friday.
“It happens all the time to us. Sometimes the officials ask me why I am participating in more than two events mistaking me for my sister. At one junior meet, my sister got the best athlete award as the judges added my points to her tally. The stories are endless,” says Vithya, a 400 metre nationwide camper.
The twins took up athletics in class on the insistence of their bodily schooling instructor when they have been in Class 5. After a couple of years, their father Ramraj, a tempo driver in Coimbatore, couldn’t afford the charges on the English-medium non-public faculty. He shifted them to a government-run establishment.
The transfer didn’t dampen their spirits, as a substitute Nithya and Vithya went from strenght to energy on the observe.
“Soon the girls started winning competitions. When they were going to Class X, many private schools were keen to enroll them. So was the case when it came to college education. Every college in the region wanted to rope them in because of their achievements in sports,” says Ramraj over the telephone. Ramraj guarantees that he isn’t speaking on the telephone whereas driving. Ramraj works for at the very least 9 hours a day and has no paid leaves. “I have just taken a short break to talk,” he says.
Vithya, who topped her group within the 400 metre hurdles heats, acknowledges her father’s sacrifice and says it spurs her to win medals.
The Ramraj twins share a very robust and inseparable bond. From the primary commonplace until the ultimate yr of faculty they sat subsequent to one another on the identical bench. They had chosen the identical topics so they might be collectively.
“Once during shuffling of classes in school, Nithya was sent to a different section. I cried all day and my mother had to request the principal to put us back together. We love each other dearly and talk daily over video calls. We also plan to get married together on the same day,” says Vithya.
Officials would have had a powerful time figuring out one from the opposite if they have been taking part in the identical occasions.
They are near-carbon copies of one another, sport comparable hairstyles and are of the identical top and constructed. Most of their mannerisms are comparable. Even their voices aren’t a giveaway. Vithya admits that they have usually taken benefit of being identical twins.
“Nithya is a little timid and doesn’t like to talk to people she has just met. So I have answered her phone calls pretending to be her on numerous occasions. In school, if she was late in submitting an assignment, I would go instead of her,” Vithya admits.
The twins admit in jest that they have puzzled if they might exchange one another in multi-discipline occasions just like the heptathlon and idiot everybody.
“If we do multi-discipline events we could and perhaps it would be difficult to figure out who is who,” Vithya says jokingly.
“Or maybe Nithya hides behind a banner and finishes the last leg of the longer race because she’s a sprinter. We keep making these plans (laughs),” Vithya provides.
Both Vithya and Nithya owe their success on the sector to their father who has all the time backed them. When Ramraj determined to confess his daughters to a sports activities hostel in Erode, kin didn’t approve of the choice.
“They said how can you let your young daughters join a hostel but I did not care. My relatives turned their backs on us when the twins were born. They were saying things like ‘how will I get them educated and married’. I am an uneducated driver but that does not mean my mindset cannot be progressive. I did not care about what others said and always backed my daughters. They have made me so proud and happy that all the riches of the world cannot compare to it. It’s very disheartening to see people with such narrow mindsets,” Ramraj says.
The Federation Cup was a reunion of types for the sisters who met after virtually a yr. The nationwide campers have been stored in a bio-bubble and they should not even allowed to depart the National Institute of Sports premises with out permission from competent authorities. Vithya talks about how emotional they have been. “The moment I saw Nithya, I had tears in my eyes. She isn’t allowed to come to visit me in the hostel. We spoke to each other while maintaining all protocols.”