Barefoot Mayuri finishes second
Mayuri Suthar slipped at the start, but still managed to beat the wet conditions barefoot to finish second in the 1000m girls' under-16 category of the Mumbai Suburbs Annual Athletic Championship at the Sports Authority of India ground yesterday. She clocked 03:21:09
Sania Wadekar finished first with a timing of 03:18:07, while Aarti Madane came third, clocking 03:34:00.
Mayuri, the daughter of a carpenter from Renuka Nagar slums of Kandivli, is still without shoes and dreams of owning a pair — not with her parents’ money, but with the prize money from different events.
“When I see others wearing expensive shoes, I feel that I should own a pair. But I know my parents cannot afford such expensive shoes. Hence, I prefer to run barefoot. Whatever little prize money I get winning local competitions, I keep it aside. Once I have sufficient money, I hope to buy myself a good pair of shoes,” said the 13-year-old student of the Dr T R Naravane Secondary Marathi Medium School.
Mayuri rued the fact that she missed the first place as she slipped at the start. “The turf was wet as it had rained in the morning. Since I wasn’t wearing shoes, I couldn’t get a proper grip, but managed to get up and cover up as much time as I could. However, I had to be content with the second spot,” added Mayuri.
Mayuri’s father Sanjay is proud of his daughter’s achievements. “Mayuri is a very dedicated kid. I am proud that she came second despite not having any proper sports gear. I am a carpenter and do not have any fixed income. On days when I have work, I get a daily wage of around Rs 250-300. There are also times when I am out of work for most part of the month. Mayuri is my only daughter, I just hope that she becomes a great athlete someday and make us proud,” said Suthar.