Odisha’s Pride – Ace Sprinter Srabani Nanda

Conditions were tough at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. Sweating profusely Srabani Nanda, the Sprinter who represented India in the Rio Olympics in 2016 was all smiles as she defeated are a friend and rival Dutee Chand to win the gold. Only a couple of minutes back she showcased her physical ability that left every fan sitting in the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar awestruck. She finished the 200m race in just 23.57 seconds with a clear finish. The high levels of humidity sapped her energy but didn’t give up. This is the story of the Federation Cup Athletics event held in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha on July 3rd this year.

Srabani’s Childhood

srabani-nandaSrabani comes from Kandhamal District in Odisha and hails from a humble family. Srabani grew up in a joint family with her father a retired clerk and her mother a headmistress at a local school. She is used take part in local events right from childhood. Her father observed her skill and with his support, she made a foray into sprinting.

Srabani Nanda was, however, not always successful. In the Rio Olympics, this sprinter from Odisha finished 55th out of the 72 competitors and could not even qualify for the semifinals. But the Rio Olympics changed her life for the better. The Odisha girl came to know about the MVP Track & Field Club in Kingston and their state of the art methodology to train sprinters. Many Olympic gold winners had received training from this esteemed institution.

Srabani’s dream of going to the Kingston Institution for world class training received momentum only after the Odisha State Government agreed to support her. Her dreams would cost a whopping Rs 1 crore which was not possible for her to arrange without any help. The training revealed new insights and also helped her to learn certain techniques which were not known to her previously. Her entire regime underwent a change. The girl from Odisha had to bring about a huge change in her eating pattern along with some of her basic day to day practices.

Srabani’s Awards and Achievements

Srabani Nanda was awarded the prestigious 24th Ekalavya award for the year 2016.In the South Asian Games, 2016 Srabani won the gold medal and silver medal in 200 and 100-metre sprint. She has also won in various International and National sporting events like the Common Wealth Games and the SAF Games.

Srabani Nanda is however keen on winning the 2020 Olympics. This humble athlete from Odisha knows that lot of hard work needs to be done in order to succeed at that level. She is, however, not afraid and believes that hard work and sincerity is the key to success.

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