Injured after 26/11, Ex-Navy commando defies odds to finish 72km marathon in Ladakh
What's the story?
Former Marine Commando Praveen Teotia finished the 72km Ladakh Marathon within the stipulated time to earn a medal earlier this week. What made this feat all the more special was the fact that he is partially hearing impaired and had a damaged lung, which he suffered during the gruesome 26/11 attack in Mumbai in 2008.
"I have met very few with such willpower. Finishing Khardung La is no child's play. I did it last year. The oxygen levels are low and it is doubly difficult for someone with a damaged lung. To do so well is a stupendous achievement," said Parvin Batliwala, a marathon runner who trained Teotia for the event told Maharshtra Times.
In case you didn't know
Teotia was part of the operation that was sent to eliminate terrorists during the 26/11 attack. He had taken four bullets to the ear and lung and was rendered disabled. He is the recipient of the Shaurya Chakra.
After the injury, he was taken off active duty, something he didn't take kindly to. So to that end, he set about trying to prove that he deserved to be re-instated into active service. Through the Taj Hotel staff, he met Batliwala, who encouraged him to do the same.
The heart of the matter
Teotia had said that he had to take voluntary retirement to participate in the marathons because the Navy was not convinced that he was fully fit for active duty. He began training in 2014 and participated in many marathons like the Standard Chartered Mumbai Half Marathon, the Indian Navy Half Marathon and the Half Iron Man Triathlon in Jaipur, among others.
The Khardung La Challenge runs at an altitude of 18,380 feet. He managed to complete it in 12 hours 30 minutes, well within the stipulated time of 14 hours.
His next challenge is the full Iron Man Triathlon and is currently seeking funds for his run. Whether he receives the position in the Navy or not, remains to be seen
We at Sportskeeda commend Praveen's achievement and believe that he will surely prove to the Navy that his disability poses no barriers for him. Hopefully, they will recognise his ability and fighting spirit.