As a child, Raju Ram Jani was always willing to compete in a bicycle race with others his age. He always had an edge and generally won most of the races he took part in. It had something to do with his competitive spirit.
On Tuesday, his mental strength was evident when he came from behind to win the men’s 3,000 metres steeplechase in the 60th All India Police track and field meet at Nehru Stadium here.
En route to victory, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) runner not only overcame a bout of fever but severe pain in his left foot that was aggravated in the pre-race warm-up. "It was great win," said the 29-year-old runner. "I really had to dig deep into my reserve to clinch gold today."
He has now set his eyes on the upcoming national meet in April.
Eight years ago, Punjab's long jumper Amritpal Singh had set a new national mark of 8.08 m in men’s long jump and was expected to represent the country at the Athens Games, but injury dashed his hopes. This time he is hoping to win a ticket to London. "I should be able to achieve qualification mark this time," the national record holder said.