Preeja Sreedhar flew down to Guwahati from Bangalore Indian Athletic Camp to showcase the best performance to hold up the pride of Kerala. She represented and she did it in style by wining an impressive three individual gold medals.
The brand new synthetic track of the Indira Gandhi Stadium was set on fire by this Gem from Kerala winning two Gold Medals within two hrs in 15000 mtrs and 10000 mtrs and on the next day, Gold in 5000 mtrs.
The authorities of the Bangalore camp consented to allow Preeja participate at national games only at the last hours. Soon Preeja set off to Guwahati to win Kerala its first gold medal in the games.
Preeja later said that the decision to participate in the 1500 mtrs was taken only after she got into the stadium. The strain of which affected her performance in 10000 mtrs. The national record of 33 min 48.45 sec in 10000 mtrs is currently in the name of this Malayali girl which was set at Doha Asian Games. Preeja Sreedhar is presently practicing at the Bangalore Indian Athletic Camp under the Russian coach Nicholas.
Unlike many other sport icons who enjoy the limelight, Preeja Sreedhar had no financial and moral background to pull or push her up the ladder. Preeja is from ‘Rajakad’ of Idukki district of Kerala. She had all odds against her but as there is a saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”.
Little Preeja lost her father when she was still in her 3rd standard crashing the family’s financial backup lines. Later, her brother had to take up carpentry to keep the boat floating. It was Ranedran, the Physical Education Teacher of Rajakad School who recognized the power of her legs which climbed up and down the neighboring ‘Mulakanam’ hill to become the envy of the world one day.
It was him who pulled up this gem, polished it and made it capable of conquering instead of being conquered.