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Father labourer, mother domestic help, daughter Chandigarh’s top sprinter

The daughter of a labourer and a domestic help, Divyanshi Shukla is eyeing a medal in the forthcoming junior national championships

other sports Updated: Sep 05, 2017 23:49 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Sprinter Divyanshi Shukla runs at the sports complex in Sector 7, Chandigarh on Tuesday, September 05, 2017.
Sprinter Divyanshi Shukla runs at the sports complex in Sector 7, Chandigarh on Tuesday, September 05, 2017.(Ravi Kumar/HT Photo)

It was the family’s financial condition that stopped Seema, a district-level sprinter, in her tracks. But her unfulfilled dream was the driving force behind introducing her then nine-year-old daughter to athletics in 2009. Today, 17-year-old Divyanshi Shukla is Chandigarh’s top sprinter.

She is also the North Zone --- comprising, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh --- champion in 100m and 200m in her age category.

Divyanshi added another gold to her kitty, clinching the 100m title in the under-18 age category of the Chandigarh Junior State Championship held at Sector 7 Sports Complex on Tuesday.

The daughter of a labourer and a domestic help, Divyanshi is eyeing a medal in the forthcoming junior national championships.

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“Winning gold in the Chandigarh state championships is not a big deal. Every time I take to the track, my challenge is to improve my timings. Though I won gold today, I am not satisfied with my performance as my timing was not up to the mark. But I am preparing for next month’s North Zone and junior nationals in October, and hope to finish on the podium in both the events,” says Divyanshi, BA first year student of DAV College, Sector 10.

Fighting adversity

In the beginning, the family’s financial condition was not favorable for Divyanshi to purse the sports seriously. But her mother ensured that no hurdle could stop her from carving a niche in athletics. “It is still a long way to go, but my parents gave top priority to my sport. They would cut their expenses but provide me with the best equipment,” says Divyanshi, who walks 5km one way to commute between her residence and the sports complex.

“I don’t have a vehicle, so I either walk or commute by public transport. These hardships have made me stronger and I hope that one day my excellence in sports will help me and my parents have a decent living,” she adds.