BHUBANESWAR: Sabita Toppo, a 17-year-old 100M sprint hurdler from Odisha, ran an impressive 14.17s to bag the silver at the Asian Youth Athletics Championship held in Kuwait, following the gold that she won in 100m hurdles at the National Youth (U-18) Athletics meet in Bhopal.
Sabita, who hails from Sundergarh, the youngest of six siblings, joined the Odisha Reliance Foundation HPC (High-Performance Centre) in 2019 for practice and she improved in her timing by more than two seconds in the years since.
Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated the athlete on her performance and wrote, "May she continue to bring glory for the State & the nation. Wish her all the best for future endeavours."
Expressing happiness over the performance, Sabita, said, "I feel so happy winning this medal. There is a lot of hard work and I would like to thank the Chief Minister Sir for his kind words, the support from the Odisha government and Odisha Reliance Foundation HPC. Now, I am looking forward to improving my timing at every race and working with my coaches."
James Hillier, athletics director of the Reliance Foundation Athletics Programme, said, "Sabita has been a very inspirational story. From personal setbacks to keep performing at the highest levels requires a lot of motivation and she possesses an abundance of that quality."
"She has made tremendous improvement in her race craft working with her coach Rohit Mane, and I see a lot more potential in her, in the months to come," stated Hillier.