Irfan Kolothum Thodi, who finished 10th in the 2012 London Olympics while setting a national record of 1:20:21, has finished 5th with a time of 1:20:59 in the IAAF Race Walking Challenge that was held today in Taicang, China.
Irfan achieved the great feat in a field that was rich with its constituent top walkers, including 2012 Olympics medallists. IAAF honoured him with an invite, remembering his Olympic achievement. KT landed 10 hours before the invite-only-event, in the middle of his strength training season and won a total prize money of $700. He was also recently signed by Anglian Medal Hunt .
The son of a daily wager and a man that once couldn’t afford shoes, Irfan rose to glory when he participated against all odds in last year’s Olympics, and showed excellent sportsmanship spirit. KT Irfan and BB Rana, army men and the sole earners in their respective families, had to buy their own shoes to train before participating in the Olympics last year due to the Sports Authority’s ignorance and insensitive methodology. With mounting expenses and hardship to adding to their worries, the duo triumphed in their efforts to make the country proud.
However, the SAI later reimbursed the walkers’ expenses.
These men, who have won in the face of poverty and injustice, will remain an inspiration to many.Published 01 Mar 2013, 12:11 IST