Taxi driver's son wins gold in U-18 boys' discus throw
Shubham Pandey, who won silver on the opening day with a 15.16-metre throw in the shot put, hurled the discus at a distance of 34.47m.
Shubham Pandey Pandey, the son of a taxi driver, clinched gold in the U-18 boys' discus throw on Day Two of the Mumbai Suburban District Athletic Association Annual Athletics Championship at Sports Authority of India (SAI), Kandivli yesterday. Shubham, who won silver on the opening day with a 15.16-metre throw in the shot put, hurled the discus at a distance of 34.47m.
Shubham's father Vijayshaym drives a taxi for 15 to 17 hours to keep the home fires burning. To reduce travel time, Shubham now stays at a rented premises near SAI. "My monthly expenses are R10,000 to R12,000 which includes my training, diet and house rent. Papa drives the taxi from 5 am to 8 pm and at times, even till 10 at night. He provides me the money I require and keeps some for household expenses. Our family friends also help me financially. I asked my father for permission to do a part-time job, but he told me to concentrate on athletics," Shubham told mid-day.
Shubham, 18, who won gold in the U-17 shot put during the 2018 Nationals, took to shot putting at Dahisar four years ago. But due to lack of competition, the Nalasopara resident joined Gupta Sports Academy at SAI, Kandivli in 2017. "When I was 14, I used to practice in Dahisar but there was no competition there so I decided to train at SAI," he said.
"He's very a hard-working boy. Despite financial struggles, he's giving his best. He has a bright future if he keeps working hard," Shubham's coach Pradeep Yadav told mid-day. Shubham, who has participated in the Khelo India Youth Games in January, decided to take up discus throwing only recently. "Technique for both disciplines is the same so I've decided to indulge in the discus throw along with shot put. I want to win an Olympic gold medal for India," he concluded.
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