Birmingham, August 8: Annu Rani, a resident of Bahadarpur village in Sardhana region, close to UP, Meerut, has bagged India's bronze medal in javelin throw at the Commonwealth Games 2022.
Annu covered a distance of 60M to win the bronze while Australia’s Kelsey-Lee Barber threw the spear 64M long to claim the gold.
The colour of the medal notwithstanding, Annu’s family and villagers are steeped in celebration. Since Neeraj Chopra was not participating in CWG 2022, the nation hoped for a medal from Annu and she delivered it too.
But Annu has seen her share of struggles before climbing the podium at Birmingham and her journey gives script for a Bollywood biopic flick too.
Annu used sugarcane stem from her father’s farm as javelin to train when she was a child and used to travel in cycle with her father or brother to the field to train.
Annu Rani is the youngest of three sisters and two brothers. His eldest brother Upendra Kumar was also a 5,000-metre runner and has also participated in university-level competitions.
Along with her elder brother, Annu also showed interest in the game and got up at 4 AM and went for a walk on the roads in her village.
Her father, a rural farmer, was not always in a position to help Annu in the pursuit of sporting excellence. So, some days Annu will convert a rural path (chakrarod) into javelin practice centre and will use a sugarcane stem as the javelin instead of a real javelin.
Seeing Annu’s interest in sport, her elder brother Upendra Kumar showed her the way to Gurukul Prabhat Ashram.
Being about 20 km away from home, Annu used to go to the Ashram ground three days a week to practice javelin throw.
The financial condition of Annu's family was not such that he could bear the expenses on the two players, seeing this, Upendra left athletics and got involved in taking dreams of his sister forward.
Upendra said: “Annu did not have shoes, and I bought shoes for her with the money collected from donations.
Annu continued her practice and excelled in javelin throw and soon she became the national champion. After that, Annu did not look back. The country as well as the people of Meerut are wishing her now greater success.”
(Inputs by Amit Shah)