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Gold dedicated to the victims of Kodagu floods: Poovamma

Mangaluru: “Hundreds of families have become homeless due to the deluge. The people from my home town, terrified by the floods are now in much pain. Therefore, I am dedicating the gold medal that I have won at the Asian Games to these refugees from my Kodagu.”

These are the words of Machettira Raju Poovamma, who represented India at the Asian Games in Jakarta and was part of the 4x400 meters relay team which won the gold medal. Poovamma spoke with ‘Udayavani’ through the telephone from Jakarta and shared her experience on the golden race.

How were the celebrations after winning the gold?

I am very happy. I am dedicating this medal to those who have lost their homes in Kodagu and become homeless. The reason for my success goes to my father Raju, mother Jaji, brother Manju, sister Likhita and my coach.

Were you expecting to win gold?

Definitely. The credit of the victory of the team also goes to Hima Das, Saritaben Gayakwad and Vismaya.

How was the training?

Daily we used to practice for 3 hours in the morning and evening. My trainers used to encourage asnd fill me with confidence.

What about the situation in Kodagu?

My mind is deeply hurt. A few of my relatives also lost their homes to the recent disaster. I will give help to the extent that I can.

Your advice to athletes?

In these days there are more opportunities. I, who grew up in Mangaluru am proof enough to prove that if there is aim and discipline in life, one can achieve ones goal. Karavali is my favourite place. I love the ‘Kori-Rotti’ here.

Even after 4 years, no site has been given

Poovamma’s father Raju spoke on his daughter’s achieving of gold and said,” In 2014, the then CM Siddaramiah and Sports Minister Abhaya Chandra Jain had promised that the government would give sites within 2 months to all the athletes who had won a medal at the Commonwealth and Asiad games. But it’s been 4 years since, but no site has been given by the government,” he said, expressing his displeasure.

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