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No reservations for Jyoti Gawate

Richer by Rs 3 lakh, India elite women’s bronze-winner in full marathon travels back home unreserved

Mumbai: While Lalita Babbar and Vijaymala Patil, who took the first and second spots respectively in the Indian women’s full marathon made their way to the five-star hotel accommodation in vehicles yesterday, third-place winner Jyoti Gawate, tugged her Rs 3 lakh prize money representative cheque under her armpit and headed to the modest Amdar Niwas at Nariman Point with coach Ravi Raskatla and cousin brother for company.

Jyoti Gawate with her coach Ravi Raskatla.  Pic/Amit Kamath
Jyoti Gawate with her coach Ravi Raskatla. Pic/Amit Kamath

After a quick lunch, they had to pack their bags and leave for the CST station a couple of hours in advance before their scheduled departure to Manmad by the Panchvati Express. “We don’t have confirmed tickets so we will travel in an unreserved compartment. We also came to Mumbai in an unreserved compartment,” Gawate’s coach Raskatla told MiD DAY. Their journey would have been long and arduous before reaching Manmad. From there they would have to board a passenger train that would stop at Parbhani Junction.

Since she was not amongst the winners in the last Mumbai Marathon, Gawate was not eligible for five-star accommodation, something she could have availed in the 2010 and 2011 editions. However, Gawate spurned the five-star facility. “We lead a simple life. She was not keen on staying there (five-star hotel) because that would separate her from her running colleagues. Staying in the group also helps you focus harder on the race,” said the coach.

Gawate, who clocked 3.02.59 as compared to Babbar’s 2.50.31 and Patil’s 02.59.58 yesterday, is a specialist marathon runner. “She only participates in marathon events. She is not keen on track and field competitions. She has participated in almost all reputed marathons in the country. She represented India only once in the Pattaya International Marathon in 2011,” said Raskatla. Gawate does four marathons in a year. “Marathon is her only source of income. She does not have a job to depend on. Since she has been performing well, we hope she gets a job this year,” he said.

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