State skaters Keerthana, Mouna reap rich haul

State skaters Keerthana, Mouna reap rich haul

On a roll

State skaters Keerthana, Mouna reap rich haul

GOLDEN DUO: Mouna Babu (left) and HR Keerthana came up with good shows at the National roller skating championship.

New Cambridge School’s HR Keerthana and Cluny Convent’s Mouna Babu bagged three gold and two silver medals between them at the Feb 3-6 event.

In the 300M time trial race (rink I), Keerthana clocked a time of 37.028 to clinch gold and in her second event -- 750M group race (rink II) -- she clinched silver.

Mouna, on the other hand, secured silver in the 300M time trial (rink III) and bagged gold in 500M (rink IV) and 1000M (rink V) in the in-line skating event.

Keerthana -- daughter of HT Ravi and Sudha R -- started her roller skating (quads) career at the tender age of five and won State and district championships in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

With the age-bar set at eight for a spot in the national squad, Keerthana had to wait her turn but when her time and her first national appearance at Faridabad came calling, she finished a disappointing seventh. Instead of brooding over her show in 2009, Keerthana upped the ante and made it to the under-10 Nagpur-bound State team this year -- in the selections held in Mysore in November, before striking it rich in Nagpur. “We are really proud of her achievement and really hope she makes it to the national team when she turns 14. We are behind her all the way,” said Ravi, the chief dialysis technician at the Bangalore hospital.

Mouna’s road to success has been more a story of grit and survival than awards and accolades. Struck by pneumonia when only nine months old, Mouna was influenced by parents -- Balaji Babu, who is a coach at the City Skaters Club, and mother Sudha Babu -- to pursue skating when she was only four-years-old to overcome bronchitis.

Mouna had won a bronze for Karnataka in the 2009 Nationals at Faridabad before her gold-medal exploits at Nagpur. “She is a hard worker and deserves every bit of this. We are very happy for her and wish she goes on to make a career out of it,” said Mouna’s mother Sudha, who is a technical official in athletics.

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