Chandigarh: 22-yr-old Divyanka from DAV College bags bronze medal at Dhaka Marathon

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In 2010, when athletics coach Parveen Kumar noticed teen Divyanka Chaudhary competing in a 3,000-m occasion at an area athletics competitors in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, the Haryana coach approached Chaudhary’s mother and father urging them to ship the teen to coach beneath him. Owners of a small piece of land at their village, Divyanka’s mother and father agreed, letting her accompany Kumar to Yamunanagar in Haryana to coach.

On Sunday, because the 22-year-old DAV College, Chandigarh, pupil claimed the third place within the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Dhaka Marathon at Dhaka in Bangladesh, it was the teen’s first podium end in a global marathon overseas.

Chaudhary clocked a timing of three hours, seven minutes and 41 seconds, behind 2019 SAFF Games silver medallist Pushpa Bhandari of Nepal and fellow Indian 2019 SAAF Games bronze medallist Jyoti Gawate within the SAAF elite group, and the 22-year-old was fast to share the feat with coach and mentor Kumar.

“It has been a long journey for me after Praveen sir spotted me and took me to train as her daughter and trainee. At my village, I just loved to run and knew very less about the professional running. To decide and shift with Praveen sir and his family, leaving my family, was a tough decision but I owe it all to Praveen sir. To be on the podium for the first time in an international marathon is the biggest reward for Praveen sir and my whole family. The conditions here at Dhaka were a bit warm as compared to North India and the hilly terrain of the route posed as challenge. Even though my timing was not one of my best, I am glad to stand on the podium of an international event,” shared Chaudhary, who’s a pupil of MA Sociology-I at DAV College, Sector 10.

While Kumar skilled a younger Chaudhary, specializing in her endurance and making her run a number of laps of the stadium close to his dwelling in Yamunanagar, she claimed her first nationwide medal within the type of a bronze medal within the U-16 3,000-m occasion within the North Zone Athletics Championship in Aligarh in 2012.

In 2016, the athlete helped Haryana declare a staff bronze medal within the U-20 All India Cross Country Championships in Goa in 2016. In 2018, Chaudhary would assist Punjab staff declare a bronze medal within the 10-km cross nation occasion within the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) Senior National Cross Country Championships at Mathura, earlier than successful the bronze medal for Panjab University within the 21-km half marathon occasion within the All India Inter-University Athletics Championships at Moodbidri, Karnataka.

In 2019, the teen competed within the Gurgaon Marathon the place she emerged because the winner within the ladies’s class, earlier than she claimed the third spot within the elite runners class in Hyderabad marathon.

Prior to the lockdown final 12 months, Chaudhary completed 18th in Mumbai Marathon adopted by a second spot within the Gurugaon Marathon. “While I competed in cross country and other long distance races, my target always was the marathons. The top spot in 2019 Gurgaon Marathon and the third spot in the elite category in Hyderabad gave me the confidence of doing well in the Elite field. Prior to the lockdown, I was in good rhythm and when I was selected in the AFI team for Dhaka Marathon, I wanted to utilise this opportunity. The last one year has also made me train with the likes of two-time Olympian and former Asian Games champion 3,000-m runner Sudha Singh and Jyoti Gawate, and I often seek tips from Sudha didi,” stated Chaudhary.

In 2019, Chaudhary clocked a timing of three hours and one minute at Gurugaon Marathon whereas at Hyderabad Marathon, she timed three hours and 5 minutes and 9 seconds.

In 2020, Chaudhary clocked three hours and 24 minutes and 48 seconds at Mumbai, earlier than returning with a time of three hours and 6 minutes at Gurgaon.

Kumar, who’s a senior athletics coach in Haryana Sports division, believes that Chaudhary is prepared for the worldwide competitions.

“Her biggest strength has been her willpower and adaption to long distance running. She missed out on the Indian team for 2019 SAAF Games but our next target will be to be in the Indian team for the Asian Marathon Championships to be held in Thailand in July this year. We are also thankful to AFI Secretary Ravinder Chaudhary for supporting her and DAV College to financially support her and I am sure she will win more laurels for the country,” shared Kumar.

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