A Mangalorean for Olympics

High jumper Sahana Kumari, an alumni of Gokarnatheshwara College has been qulified for the London Olympics after she cleared 1.92m during the opening day of National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships recently in Hyderabad.

She is a sportswoman par excellence and has proved her mettle by qualifying for the London Olympics. Hailing from Ullal, she had her early education at Anandashrama school in Someshwar and later at Mysore Sports Hostel. She had studied in the college for her graduation in 2001.

College Physical Education Teacher Purushotham Poojary said that Sahana’s sister Harshini was also a sports talent. “I had wished Sahana that she must take part in Olympics, when she was a student. I am happy over her achievement,” he goes down memorylane.

“In fact, she had called me and had reminded me of my wish soon after getting qualified for the Olympics,” he added. Harshini and Sahana were winning medals, at the state-level contests during her school days. Inspired from her sister, Sahana had learnt the tricks of high jump when she was in fourth standard itself.

When she was pursuing her degree, she had created a new record in the Mangalore
University-level and All India inter-University level sports meet, Poojary recalled.

Sahana’s mother Yashodha made it a habit to wake both her daughters early morning and send them for practice. This helped her a lot to pursue and succeed in the field of sports. She has been taking part in a number of sports events, at the international level as well, and has won several medals, honours and recognition. She is now working for Central Railways.

In fact, she was trained by late Jalandhar Rai in her school days. The talent of both the sisters were brought to light by late Sridhar Rai. It was A Sadananda Shetty, Janardhan Poojary and others who helped Sahana during her college days. At present, Sahana is in Kazhakistan.

Sahana’s husband Nagaraj is a national-level sprinter.

Former international high jumper Rohith Kumar Kateel said that normally, performance of the athletes, especially in sprint and high jump, comes down after 26 years. “The performance of Sahana has stunned all of us,” he said.

Athletic coach Vasanth Kumar says that the achivement of Sahana is laudable. Being a mother of a child, her achievement is really amazing, he said.

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