by Mervin LR
Poojitha Ramesh Babu, is a young sprinter coming up through the ranks of Tamil Nadu, ran 100m a wind-time of 12.51 seconds at the IIT Madras Annual Sports fest on September, 2019.
Poojitha currently pursuing BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) at Women’s Christian’s College, Chennai, like everyone else, hopes to make it on the Indian national team in the distant future.
As a teenager she was selected for a school sports competition by one of her teachers where her talent was spotted. It would be several years before she fully committed to athletics at St. Ursula’s Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Chennai.
“Like everyone at the young age, I have also had tried my hands-on other profession like singing, dancing but Athletics is really what I liked doing it,” Poojitha recounted, in an exclusive interaction with Fisto Sports.
“I picked up athletics since it isn’t a team sport and I could practice whenever I had the time to. And Athletics attracted me because it’s an unique and individual sport, the glory is all yours alone unlike a team sport where the credit is shared,” she added.
Reflecting on her journey, Poojitha recalled the contribution made by her parents and P.E. Teacher Miss Beaula and Miss Manjula in making her the sprightly runner that she is now.
“My family was very supportive of my career choice. They backed me to the hilt,” she said.
A naturally gifted sprinter, she’s been part of the short distance running circuit for as far back as she remembers. And she was quickly making a name for herself at local and state competition which earned multiple medals at the various inter school and state level championship meet.
Here’s a rundown of some of Poojitha’s achievements:-
- National inter-district junior athletic meet – 200 mts semi finalist
- Tamilnadu State 2nd Youth Athletic Championship – 3rd – 100mts
- State Level Inter School Athletic Meer for girls 2019 – 3rd – 100mts
- State Level Inter School Athletic Meet for girls 2019 – 2nd – long jump
- Anglo Indian Inter School State Level Athletic Meet – 3rd – 200mts
- Anglo Indian Inter School State Level Athletic Meet – 1st – 400mts
- Anglo Indian Inter School State Level Athletic Meet – 3rd – long jump (All the three Anglo Indian meet was on 2016 to 2017)
- Anglo Indian Inter School State Level Athletic Meet 2018 – 2019 – 2nd- long jump
- Anglo Indian Inter School State Level Athletic Meet 2018 – 2019 – second – 400mts
She also spoke about her initial struggles in balancing academics and athletics. Eventually, she said, she managed to strike a balance.
“My home (Vadapalani) is very far away from the place I train which is Nehru stadium seems quite difficult to used to at my young age.
Poojitha acknowledges that she has learnt a lot from her idol Allyson Felix.
“From my childhood day, I used to grow up adoring athletes like PT Usha and Usain Bolt but on a personal level Allyson Felix have inspired so many and I am one of them. Just looking at what she has achieved makes you want to work harder.”
“After nearly dying during child birth to become record holder for the most gold medals at the track and field World Championships is an incredible story of determination. Though right now far from her best, she’s working with a whole new body to she attempts to qualify for the fifth Olympics games. So, whenever, I watch her and I feel good about taking up this sport,” she said.
Before this year, the 18-year-old run predominantly in 400m, 200m, 100m and Long Jump and, which she ran till now, but her 12.51 secs last month catapulted her into new territory.
“In the initial days, I used to take part in 400m, 200m, 100m and have also tried long jump. However, now my coach Dr.P.Nagarajan (Prime Sports Academy) have decided to run only in 100m and 200m. The reason is that when I run 400m and 200m, I would easily get tired of in the last 50m, which cost me several podium finish as well.”
Poojitha stressed that she is an “entirely transformed” after attending NIDJAM National Inter-district Junior Athletics meet, held in Vizag, in 2017.
“It’s an unexpected meet where I have got to see seas of athletes from different corners of India compete at one place was very inspiring,” she said.
“The days I spent at the tournament, and the exposure I gained helped me to improve a lot. And it also gave me clear picture of where am I right now and what I need to improve in my field, I feel I still have a long to go,” Poojitha stated.
Recently at the IIT Madras Sports Meet, where she won the gold with the attempt of 12:51 seconds, Poojitha is enthusiastic and eager to do well in the Junior State Athletics Meet, AL inter-college meet, and Reliance Foundation athletics meet in the coming months.
“Right now, my aim is to work hard to improve my timing of 12.51 sec and perform consistently to touch the mark of 12:00 sec in the upcoming meets.” she ended.
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