Know your Indian Olympian: 10 things to know about Kavita Raut
6. She carried on that impeccable form into the 50th National Open Athletics Championships next year as she soared high to take the yellow metal in 10000m. By clocking 32:41.31, she managed to obliterate Preeja Sreedharan’s meet record and set a new one.
7. The diligent Raut burst into the spotlight at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi when she clinched the bronze medal in the 10000m. It was a historic achievement as it was the first ever individual track medal won by an Indian woman in the championships.
Not only that, it was also the first time any Indian of either gender had grabbed an individual track medal since the legendary Milkha Singh’s gold in 440 yards at the 1958 Cardiff Games.
8. Bubbling with confidence, Raut carried her stellar form into the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and captured the silver medal in 10000m, clocking 31:51.44. This was her personal best timing in this race category. Later on, she also added the bronze in 5000m at Guangzhou.
9. After having been forced to miss the 2014 Incheon Asian Games due to a stress fracture, Kavita gradually started climbing her way back to the top echelons by picking up a bronze in the 5000m at the Open Nationals and also at the Bangalore Marathon.
She followed it up with a series of wins at the Kolkata 25K, the Vasai-Virar half marathon, the Hyderabad 10K and even topped the podium the in half marathon at the Mumbai Marathon next year.
10. Her latest accomplishment came at the 12th South Asian Games held at Guwahati in February 2016. The 30-year-old joined compatriots OP Jaisha, Lalita Babbar and Sudha Singh as the fourth Indian to have qualified for the Rio Olympics in women’s marathon by dint of her gold medal win. Her timing of 2 hours 38 minutes and 38 seconds was way within the qualification criterion of 2:42:00.
Other things you need to know about Kavita Raut:
1. The prestigious Arjuna Award was conferred on Raut in 2012. It was the first time any Maharashtrian athlete won the coveted award since former runner and current president of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) Adille Sumariwala got it in 1985.
2. She is extremely indebted to her family and her village for providing her unflinching support throughout her career, despite not being exposed to the world of athletics.
“My family comes from a small village and did not know what athletics was all about, yet, they allowed me to pursue this career where girls are required to sport shorts and tee-shirts,” Kavita has said.
3. Kavita has given back to her sport with her academy which she set up at Nashik in 2011. The academy, named ‘Ekalavya Athletics and Sports Institute’ nurtures young talents and also sponsors their education.
4. She is employed with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).