Want to make my country proud: Kamalraj

Triple jumper Kamalraj once thought of quitting athletics courtesy his repeated failures until Standard 10. But now, the Tamil Nadu lad has a silver medal to his credit in an international meet. He finished second in the 8th Asian Indoor Athletic Championships in Iran earlier this month.
Want to make my country proud: Kamalraj
Kamalraj, who finished second in the Asian Indoor Athletic Championship

Chennai

“This according to me is just the start. I am looking forward to be a part of more international meets in the future. Not many people have won a gold medal representing India at the highest level. 
My objective is to make my country proud overseas through my efforts. There is no better feeling than singing our national anthem by securing a top spot,” said Kamalraj, who is currently a part of the national camp in Kerala.
The Tirupur-based lad managed to leap only 16.23 metres in Iran while his personal best is 16.41 metres, which he recorded during the National Junior Championship in 2017. Despite tracking a shorter leap, he finished on the podium. When queried about the reason behind his dip in form, he asserted, “This is my first trip on the road and I was under pressure. It was difficult for me to adapt to indoors as I am not used to it much.”
Commenting about the climatic conditions in Iran, the local lad said, “The weather was extremely cold, dropping down to as low as -5 degrees. It acted as a hindrance in adjusting quickly to the conditions. Since I train a lot here, I am more comfortable with warm weather.” He also attended an invitational championship in Indonesia this month.
Despite seeking out the help of some of the government authorities, Kamalraj hasn’t received any assistance in terms of cash thus far. He had to spend from his own pocket to make it to his first international meet in Tehran, Iran. 
“We were asked to submit a letter by the member secretary of the CM’s office. Myself and my coach had listed out the requirements. We have still not received any funding. It would be better if the govt provides financial support for my upcoming endeavours,” concluded Kamalraj.

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