Kheta Ram: 10 things to know about India's long-distance runner heading to Rio Olympics 2016
Kheta Ram will be taking part in the Rio Olympics, as he is going to participate in the marathon event at the Games. He has been working really hard and hopes to break a few records at the Games, and win a medal for India. Let us now take a look at 10 things about the athlete:
#1 Kheta Ram is a long distance runner who was born on 20 September, 1986 in Khoksar, Rajasthan. He used to run 4km every day to his school, which helped him train for the marathon races in the future.
#2 Ram is an Army man, and his posting is at Samba in Jammu. He mostly trains at the Army Sports Institute in Pune. His parents and wife are not educated, and they don’t even know that he is going to represent the country at the Olympics.
#3 He belongs to a village that has acute water issues, and the roads are also not concrete. He hopes to win a medal at the Olympics to give something to his villagers to cheer about. He also wishes to rebuild his village in such a manner that no one would ever have to face water issues again.
#4 The school that he studied in has not had an upgrade in 44 years, and the school has classes only till 8th standard. He has fought against all odds to make a name for himself.
Having used his skills and determination, he has come a long way to see his name among the athletes who are going to take part in the Olympics, with hopes of winning a medal and seeing the Indian national flag soar high at the Games.
#5 Ram will be taking part in the marathon event at the Olympics along with Gopi T and Nitendra Singh Rawat. This will be the first since in 56 years that three Indian athletes will be taking part in the Olympics. The last time it happened was at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
#6 He is currently undergoing training under the guidance of experienced middle-distance runner Surinder Singh Bhandari at the Thangaraj Stadium in Wellington. He is receiving special training to improve his muscle hypertrophy, which would help him to better his endurance and stamina and perform well at the Olympics.
#7 He had finished third in the Mumbai Marathon which helped him qualify for the Olympics. He finished with a timing of 2:17:23 hours, which helped him make the cut as the qualifying mark for the Games was two hours 19 minutes.
"I earlier concentrated on track and field events, but since I have not been doing well in my main event (5000 metres), I and my coach decided to do the half marathon for the past couple of years. I have now switched to the full marathon as I want participate in the Mumbai Marathon and hope to meet the Olympic qualifying mark."
#8 While training at Pune’s Army Sports Institute (ASI), he had emerged victorious at the 5th Vasai-Virar Mayor’s Marathon. He completed the race with a timing of 2:22:32, which was 6 seconds better than last edition’s winner Neeraj Pal, who had finished with a timing of 2:22:38.
#9 Ram had represented India at the Asian Games in Incheon, where he took part in the men’s 5000m race.
#10 He had also won the 5000m race at the 18th Federation Cup National Senior Athletics Championships in Patiala in 2014. He won the race with a timing of 13:49.17 and broke a seven-year-old record which was set by Surender Singh, who had finished the race with a timing of 13:51.64.