Khelo India Youth Games 2020: Assamese cyclist Gongutri Bordoloi returns from road accident to strike gold
What's the story?
Gongutri Bordoloi helped Assam with their second gold at KIYG 2020 after bagging the yellow metal in the Girls U21 Individual Road Race (60KM) with a timing of 2:11:52.16.
17-year-old Gongutri had suffered a major road accident five years back while training. The youngster had severe injuries including multiple lacerations and a broken collarbone. This had kept the cyclist out of action for over a year.
The heart of the matter
The iron-willed girl from Assam poured her heart into the sport upon her return.
“When she saw my state, my mother put her foot down, and told me to give up the sport. But my father, a policeman, stood by my side, fought for me and made me cling on to my passion when I could have been down and almost out. My dad is a fighter, my inspiration. He said if at all I have to quit it has to be on my terms, not because I had an injury," the gold medallist said sharing her journey with PTI.
If her mother had had her way, Gongutri would have quit and the nation would have lost a fine talent. Pocketing a gold medal at KIYG 2020 would only help the youngster gain confidence and intensify her preparations.
Gongutri's late surge helped her gun for glory in the physically and mentally draining 60KM race. The race also saw nine participants crashing in a back row scuffle, leaving them injured and preventing them from completing the race.
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“I was a sprint cyclist earlier, but the injuries mean that I can’t burst through quickly now. I switched over to the pursuit and the road recently. Even today I was nervous, because I didn’t want to crash. I saw the commotion behind me and ensured I wasn’t near it," the elated youngster further told PTI.
In a sport like cycling, crashes are very common. Gongutri had shown tremendous fighting spirit during the Road Nationals in Bikaner last year as well. She had fallen off her bike but was quick to get up and recover in time to eventually clinch the Silver medal.
Fellow Assamese cyclist Chayanika Gogoi also won the Bronze medal at the Girls U21 road race at KIYG 2020. She finished just 00:00.148 seconds behind Gongutri in the intense race. Both Gogoi and Bordoloi train at the SAI Centre in Delhi. They were selected for the national camp in 2018 and credit the good facilities for their spectacular outing at KIYG.
Gongutri's gold medal outing is sure to inspire many others like her to take up the sport in the state. She really pushed herself to the limit to clinch the medal.