MR Poovamma caught everyone’s attention when she anchored India’s relay team, which won gold at Asian C’ships. Now, the 23-year old gets ready for the World Championships. Abhishek Purohit talks with the quarter-miler
When Indian women’s relay team won the 400m relay race in the Asian Championships last month in Pune, MR Poovamma impressed everyone with her breathtaking finish to ensure India continues its rich tradition of winning medals in relay.
The 23-year-old Poovamma, who teamed with Nirmala, Anu Mariam Jose and Tintu Luka for the win, was also favourite to win the 400m competition. But, she finished second and couldn’t qualify for the World Championships to be held in Moscow from 10th of August.
“I am slightly sad that I will not be competing in the 400m individual event. I will definitely try for it the next time. But I am happy that I am a part of the relay team,” Poovamma told The Pioneer over phone.
The Mangalore-based athlete is preparing for the World C’ships at National Institute of Sports in Patiala under the watchful eyes of coach N Ramesh.
“We are working hard and preparing well. We are excited about the race. We are working on how to improve our timings and how to adjust to different conditions. We will be leaving for Moscow on 6th. We are hopeful of a good performance there,” Poovamma. Barring Ashwini Akkunji, the relay team looks inexperienced. Poovamma feels that it will be a great moment for the girls.
Hailing from Karnataka, Poovama, , a Bachelor in Business Administration, was always interested in athletics and early success gave her the confidence to continue with it at the higher level. “When I was still in primary school, I started training for the sport. Initially, I did well in various age-level competitions. Vasant Hegde sir supported and mentored me. I won medals in youth games as well and since then there was no looking back,” Poovamma, who is supported by Anglican Holdings recalls.
Her coach N Ramesh added, “this time she missed out on qualifying for the world championships in her individual race but she has a bright future ahead of her. She has been training under me since 2011 and at the start her timing was 54.36s. But she has improved a lot and now her best timing is 52.75s. She is a bright prospect. I will work with her for the Asian and Commonwealth Games. She has a very good height and a world class body structure. That works in her favour. I am even reckoning her for next Olympics.”
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