Like mother, like daughter: Family of record holders aims higher and higher


To 15-year-old excessive jumper Pavana Nagaraj, stadiums are second residence. Since the time she was 4, she has accompanied her dad and mom, each former national-level athletes, to high track-and-field meets across the nation, and has seen them break data.

On Saturday, the 5-foot 8-inch teenager continued the household custom, rewriting the under-16 nationwide excessive bounce record on the junior nationals in Guwahati by clearing the bar at 1.73 metres.

Back in 2012, Pavana’s mom Sahana Kumari had jumped 1.92 m, a record that no Indian lady has damaged until date. Her father BG Nagaraj has been an acclaimed sprinter — he was topped the quickest man in India in 2010, when he received the 100 m dash on the inter-state meet. His finest has been 10.50 seconds, recorded on the Asian Games trials.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Pavana says she cherished going to the observe along with her dad and mom. “I would feel really upset on the days that my mother left me at home. So, on most days she took me along. It is due to my parents’ hard work that I have reached this far,” she says – solely to interrupt into fun and add, “Not that I don’t work hard… Sports is my interest and passion and I have huge dreams.”

Her father, Nagaraj, says the enjoyment of seeing his daughter set the record is an emotion that overshadows something he or his spouse have ever felt at a sporting area.

“Athletics was in her blood. I am so elated that we have two current national record holders in our house. This is just the beginning, we have very big plans for her,” says Nagaraj, who works with the Indian Railways as a sports activities coach.

They didn’t need to nudge their daughter in direction of athletics, say Sahana and Nagaraj, who’re based mostly in Bengaluru. A high-jump medal on the college degree, and the popularity that adopted was the spark that she wanted, believes Sahana.

“At the school meet she wanted to take part in the 100 m event like her father, but did not do well,” Sahana says. Pavana’s college coach requested her to offer excessive bounce a shot, and she turned out to be a pure. Awards at varied age-group meets grew to become a behavior for her thereafter.

To Sahana, her daughter seems as her personal mirror picture, and watching Pavana bounce in direction of the bar reminds her of her personal junior days. “If you see her from behind, she almost looks like me. She has a lot of flaws that need to be ironed out. She has to work on improving her run-up. The strides need to be longer. She has a tendency to go too close to the bar; that has to be worked out as well,” says Sahana, who competed on the 2012 London Olympics.

After retiring in 2017, Sahana and Nagaraj began coaching budding athletes at Bengaluru’s SAI centre. With Sahana taking a break from teaching after the beginning of the couple’s second little one final 12 months, it’s the daddy who has been Pavana’s shadow.

“I couldn’t work much with her, as my younger one kept me busy. Her father used to help her train. Without any competitions, and with the lockdown protocols, training was really difficult. We didn’t have access to a jumping pit for a long time,” Sahana says.

The mom remembers that whereas rising up, Pavana took half in most operating and leaping disciplines, which helped her quite a bit. “At the under-14 competitions, she would take part in combined events, and that meant she wasn’t just confined to high jump. This is how we were trained. I used to do a lot of events as a kid, and later stuck to high jump,” says Sahana.

Pavana says she has exceeded her expectations by making a nationwide record. “Due to the Covid restrictions, I was not able to train well. I wasn’t expecting this.”

The proud dad and mom say that had it not been for the pandemic, Pavana would have damaged the nationwide record final 12 months itself. But that’s a minor blip for this household of nationwide record holders.




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