Saturday, December 31, 2011

Coimbatoreans who won Olympics medals

It is time to recall the achievements of youngsters who brought laurels to their native place, Coimbatore, determined to go the extra mile in their chosen field.

Disability did not deter 26-year-old Archana from showing her prowess in cycling. She bagged gold in the 1-km and bronze in 500 metres event at the 13th Special Olympics Summer World Games this year at Athens, Greece.

On her daughter’s sports interests, the autistic girl’s mother Annapoorna said Archana evinced keen interest in cycling which she developed through continuous training under international Indian coach Avatar Singh.

Archana enhanced her skill taking part in different training camps at the national level to be chosen for the international event. At Athens, she participated in three cycling events - 5 km, 1 km and 500 metres and won in two.

For F. Shabeena Banu, 27, of Podanur, it was a dream come true in getting selected to participate in the Asian Powerlifting championship in Kobe city, Japan, during April this year. Her father, who runs a small grocery shop, encouraged her sport activity.

Banu lifted the Asian Powerlifting championship in 2003 at Kazakhstan, followed by the Commonwealth Powerlifting championship in 2005 at Northernborg. Since her father’s income is not enough to take care of the family, she feels that some corporates or philanthropists could help her participate in global events.

At a time when children find it difficult even to memorise couplets from Thirukkural, 13-year-old K. Anjana Devi has penned the book, ‘Thirukkural Thelivurai’ (meanings of Thirukkural couplets), besides publishing it. It took nearly a year for her to complete the book since she could write only during her spare time.

Dejection and deprivation forced differently-abled M. Babu to quit his sign language interpreter job due to meagre pay, but he is now teaching his clan sign language in the rural areas.

Armed with an UG in public administration before taking up a two-year course in ITI electrician trade from Hyderabad national level training centre for adult deaf in 1996, Babu did his PG diploma in computer applications and Indian sign language course.

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