Mumbai: It is not always that there is a woman behind a man’s success. In the case of India’s ace distance runner Kavita Raut, it is her husband Mahesh Tungar who is the reason for her stellar rise in athletics.

Kavita Raut’s husband Mahesh Tungar at the media centre yesterday
Kavita Raut’s husband Mahesh Tungar at the media centre yesterday

The year 2010 was monumental for Raut. She clinched bronze in 10,000m at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 to become the first individual woman track medallist at the CWG. She also won a silver medal in the 10,000m at the Asian Games.

Yesterday, the 28-year-old was successful in getting a podium finish in the women’s half marathon (21km) after topping the charts in 2008 and 2009 at the Mumbai Marathon.

Raut clocked 1:21:15 — much higher than her personal best of 1:12:50 (Pune half-marathon, 2009) — to take the second place. Sudha Singh stormed to first place with a timing of 1:18:24 while Kiran Sahdev clocked 1:21:57 to take the third spot.

Nashik-based Raut, who got married last year in April, said she could continue to pursue athletics because of her husband’s support. “We are from a very orthodox family. I am able to continue (with my sport) because of my husband’s support. I was off to a national camp just 10 days after our marriage.

Without his encouragement, it would not have been possible. Had it not been for him, I would have either been a housewife or would have worked with my employers (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation),” Raut told MiD DAY.

So busy has Raut been with her training and competitions that the couple is yet to go for their honeymoon. “We have planned it after the Commonwealth Games (Glasgow in July-August) and Asian Games (Incheon in September). We want to go to Kerala and Andaman Island. This is a crucial year for her career. It is important that there are no distractions,” said Raut’s husband, who is a mechanical engineer at Maharashtra Power Generation Company in Nashik.

Raut said her husband has never complained about her busy schedules. “He has never put any pressure on me as far as household formalities are concerned. He has always considered that my priority is training.

“He manages his timing as per my schedules. At times, he drops in at a training camp during my free time. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I want to make him proud by achieving the goals,” said Raut.

Tungar said marriage was not a difficult decision. “I had no issues. I am happy that she is working hard to achieve her ambitions. We had a good discussion before we committed to marriage. I was mentally prepared to accept the way her schedules are,” he signed off.