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Coimbatore: It's about four in the evening. The sun is still at its best. But, the flat 100m skating track near the VOC Children Park wears a dull and gloomy look with no kids on wheels to hug its floor. Just when your mind begins to wander, walks in a pretty young girl. She is Krithika, who skated her way to a triple gold and the overall championship in the 20th State skating championship in Chennai last month.
The 19-year-old, a first year ECE student of Kumaraguru College of Technology, obviously, did not wish to hide her feelings. “I am thrilled,” she says with a gentle smile and quickly got down to business on track.
Even as Krithika danced up and down graciously on the firm track, her mother S. Kothai, a former Bharathiar University and State volleyball star, quietly sat down in a corner to admire her every move. “I am happy she is flowing in smoothly now with her roller skates on,” says Kothai.
True, Krithika wasn't at her best at the start. She took to skating just for the heck of it but found it hell out there at the rink. “I would have fallen at least a dozen or more times. But every time I had a fall, I said to myself, ‘no pain, no gain', and carried on,” she says pointing out to all those fading scars on her hands and legs.
Intones Kothai: Her grandparents were more worried than me. They kept asking me whether it is the right choice for a girl. But, Krithika was bent upon continuing. And, today I am pleased that she has learnt the art of balancing the skates and her studies quite beautifully.
Krithika fell in love with the sport when in her seventh standard. “The speed and the feel of the gentle breeze egged me on. It's a different world altogether on the track. You must try it at least once to experience that lovely feel,” she says. The feeling of joy helped her take part in several district and State level meets. Quite quickly, medals started coming her way. “I would have won more than two dozen medals. In fact, I have lost count of it,” she adds.
But winning medals at the State level is not her top priority. “I have participated in more than three nationals but failed to click. I have lost all those medals only by a whisker. That hurts me most. So, I want to go out there and prove my potential,” says Krithika.
She says she was in top form last year. “I was on my way to the Nagpur Nationals. In fact, I reached Mumbai. But unfortunately I had to come back even before I could reach Nagpur as the Plus-Two public practicals were out by then. It came as a huge disappointment. But, I consoled myself saying there is always another day,” she adds.
Krithika wants to first win a medal at the nationals before looking at the Asian level. “A bit of hard work will help me in achieving my goal. It's only a matter of time,” she says.
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