Middle-distance pacer Phulsundar is one medal closer to improving timing
Fifteen-year-old Sakshi Phulsundar wanted to become a top badminton player and to improve her movement on court. So, she started training on the track. It paid rewards; but, not in badminton.
Phulsundar has state and national gold medals in 400m, 600m, and 800m events.
On Sunday, the final day of the Pune District Junior Athletics Championship at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Phulsundar won gold in the 400 metres with a timing of 61.2 seconds.
Diya Sumerpur (61.7 seconds) and Sanjana Gosavi (63.5 seconds) earned silver and bronze, respectively.
Currently the best 400-metre timing in the country is Hima Das’ at 50.79 seconds. Das recently won gold with a run of 52.09 second at Prague, Czech Republic.
“I don’t idolise any athletes, but yes I keep a watch on their timings. To get better and better is important in athletics,” says Phulsundar, who also clinched bronze in the 200 metres, with a run of 27.7 seconds.
Phulsundar won her first athletic medals in the 100 metres and 300 metres Schoolympics 2016 events.
“It was her start in athletics and the medals boosted her confidence. She moved her focus completely towards athletics,” says Swati Phulsundar, the runner’s mother.
With too much competition in the 100 metres and 200 metres, Phulsundar switched to middle distance running.
“Middle distance requires lot of endurance and I had confidence of doing well,” says Phulsundar, whose susebquent golds came at the junior nationals in 2017.
First at the Junior National Athletics Championship, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh in the 600 metres event and then gold at the school nationals at Raipur in the 400 metres.
“Staying fit and regular practice is a must to excel in athletics,” says Phulsundar, a Class 9 student of DAV Public School.
Her personal best in the in 400 metres is 60.1 seconds .
Under-16, 400m: 1. Sakshi Phulsundar 61.2 seconds; Diya Sumerpur 61.7 sec; Sanjana Gosavi 63.5 sec.