Sunil Gope (left) and N Sai Krishna pose with their medals on Monday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Two special athletes from Jamshedpur have skated their way to national glory.
Meet N. Sai Krishna (15) and Sunil Gope (18), who have bagged maiden medals for Jharkhand at the Special Olympics National Roller Skating Championship, which was held at Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh from January 6-11. While the former pocketed two gold medals in the 30m straight and zigzag categories, Sunil clinched two silver in the same sections.
As many as 22 states had participated in the national competition.
Both Sai and Sunil are residents of Sonari and study at Jeevika, a city-based organisation working for the mentally-challenged.
The feats of the two special athletes have made their mothers proud.
“I always had faith in my son’s abilities. The medal win has made me immensely happy and proud,” said Sai’s mother N. Padmavati, an employee of Bistupur branch of State Bank of India.
Sunil’s mother Budhan Gope was similarly joyous over his acheivement. “It’s a proud moment for me. Sunil is so excited that he goes to sleep with the medal by his side. Seeing him so happy soothes my heart,” she said the delighted mother.
Jeevika secretary Sukhdeep Kaur said this was the first time that special athletes from Jharkhand participated in the roller skating nationals and on the very first occasion, they bagged the top two spots.
“We are very happy with the feats of Sai and Sunil. They started picking up skating lessons hardly two months back and have now returned with medals at the national-level,” she said.
Kaur confirmed that they had prepared Sai and Sunil for the Bareilly championship.
“We did our part by training them, but they are the ones who performed on the national stage. Their show deserves to be saluted,” added the Jeevika secretary.
Jeevika founder Awtar Singh, who had trained the two medallists at Joggers’ Park in Sonari, said both Sai and Sunil were fast learners and seldom skipped training sessions.
“I am glad that they made the state proud by winning medals at the national-level tournament. I will see to it that their skills are sharpened further,” he said.
Jharkhand Special Olympics area director Bailey Bodhanwala and his assistant Satbir Singh Sahota have congratulated Sai and Sunil on their laudable performances. “We are pleased with the performance of these two athletes and are optimistic that they would bring more laurels to the state in future,” said Sahota.
Krishna Murthy, a state-level trainer from Society for Technical and Remedial Training had accompanied Sai and Sunil to the Bareilly meet.