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Suraj lost his father at the age of 6 months: Mother worked as a daily wage laborer for 14 years; Now qualified for 20 km walk race Olympics

Chandigarh15 minutes agoAuthor: Rajkishore

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Suraj Pawar of Uttarakhand became the fourth men's player to qualify for Paris Olympics in the National Walk Race held in Chandigarh. He finished second in the 20 km walk race event with a timing of one hour 19 minutes 43 seconds. Suraj's journey till here has been full of difficulties.

When Suraj was 6 months old, his father's shadow disappeared from his head. Whereas mother worked as a daily wage laborer in the Forest Department of Uttarakhand for 14 years and brought Suraj here. Suraj says that he will not let his mother's sacrifice go to waste and will win a medal for the country in the Olympics.

Dainik Bhaskar talked to Suraj about his journey so far and his future plans. Here are excerpts from the conversation with him

Question: What challenges did you face in your journey till here and what kind of support did you get from the family?
I belong to a normal family. When I was 6 months old, my father died. We are three brothers. After that my mother took care of all of us. He worked as a daily wage laborer in the Forest Department of Uttarakhand for 14 years. Later it became permanent.

Initially there was a problem regarding diet, then my coach Anoop Bisht helped me a lot. When I came to the national camp, I got a lot of support from the foreign coach. He helped in every way. Now I have also joined the Navy. My elder brother was working. In such a situation, the problems have ended to a great extent.

Question- Last year you missed Olympic qualification by one second, what was going on in your mind after that and how did you prepare in this one year?
Last year, in the National Walking Championship held in Ranchi, I missed Olympic qualifying by one second. After that, only one thing was going on in my mind that I have to qualify for the Olympics at any cost.

Keeping this in mind, I practiced under the guidance of a foreign coach in the national camp and I qualified for the Olympics by winning the silver medal in the National Championship held in Chandigarh.

Question- Only three athletes from one country can participate in an event in the Olympics, so far 6 athletes have qualified for the Olympics in this event, how challenging will it be in such a situation?
Will work hard from our side and give our best. The way I have given in the National Championship. The best three players participating in Paris will be selected in June. In such a situation, I will try to give my best in the competition to be held in June and ensure my selection in the team for the Olympics.

Question- How did you start the walk race? Why choose this one?
Initially there was not much information about the walk race. I used to do all the games in my childhood. Used to do racing earlier. Later he also started doing walk racing. When I stood first in a competition organized at the school level, I decided to continue it.

In 2016, our Manish Rawat from Dehradun had qualified for the Olympics. There used to be news about him in newspapers. He also got a job as Inspector in the police. After which I decided that I too have to become like him and represent the country in the Olympics and win a medal.

Question- What is the plan regarding the preparation for the Olympics? Are you also planning to go to Australia and prepare like Priyanka Goswami, who has qualified for the Olympics?
It is up to our coaches and the federation to decide where and how we will prepare for the Olympics. Our coach will prepare a plan regarding Olympic preparation, we will follow the same plan. Till now we have traveled here by following the coach. In such a situation, we will proceed accordingly in future also.

Question- Indian walkers qualify for the Olympics, but they are not able to perform well in the Olympics? Why so?
Yes, we have also come to know that Indian walkers qualify for the Olympics, but are not able to do well in the Olympics. I want to break this perception and get the country its first medal in the walk race. In such a situation, I tried to work hard for the Olympics.

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