Sankalp Sawant beats the odds to clinch U-14 100m title
Sankalp Sawant of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya (Malad) was born with klippel-trenaunay syndrome (where the child's legs are of different sizes).
Nevertheless, this hardly prevented the 13-year-old, who also sustained a muscle tear in the right leg on Thursday, from winning the 100m sprint in the U-14 category of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school Athletic Championships at Goregaon Sports Club yesterday. He clocked 12.2 seconds en route his victory.
On Thursday, Sawant won a silver medal in the 200m run clocking 25.7 seconds. Due to the partial muscle tear, an orthopedician suggested Sawant stay away from the event, but his coach Manisha Gawande encouraged him to give it a shot. Sawant may have returned with the gold yesterday, but he rued the fact that he could not break the meet record which stands at 12 seconds.
“I couldn’t have run today without the support of Manisha miss. She suggested I run if I felt comfortable after getting my right leg taped. I am glad I won a gold. The sad part is that due to the pain, I missed out on creating a new meet record by 2 mini-seconds. As I have uneven legs, my bodyweight comes on my right leg making it difficult to run. To distract myself, I sprint faster,” said the class IX student.
Narrating his difficulties in convincing his parents to allow him to pursue athletics, he said, “My parents being teachers were against me getting into athletics. If not for Manisha miss, they wouldn’t have allowed me to get into sports. I am sure that they would be proud that I won medals despite my shortcomings,” he said.