Surat, Apr 26: Pooja Chaurushi from Surat will be the only athlete representing india in the under-23 category at the Asian Triathlon Championship to be held in Guanzhou, China, next month.
The championship is being organised by the international triathlon union on may 2 and 3. Pooja, who started participating in triathlon events only in 2007, has three gold medals to her credit at the national level.
The 16-year-old won her first gold medal at the national games in Guwhati in February 2007. Her second triumph came at the national junior triathlon championship in Bhopal in November last year. She also bagged a gold while competing against seniors at the national senior's triathlon chmpionship in Visakhapatnam in February this year.
The class 12th student, who is participating in an international event for the first time, said her eyes are on an Olympic medal. "I want to win an Olympic medal for the country. This will be my primary focus for the next few years. I am practising hard and hope the results will be positive," Pooja told PTI.
Triathlon is a sport encompassing three distinct events- swimming, cycling and running. Under Olympic rules, each athlete has to swim 1500m, do 40 km of cycling and run 10 km to complete the event.
When asked about her preparations for the international event, she said, "I have been practicing for two months now. Every alternate day, I do 50 km of cycling and 8-10 km running besides 5-6 km of swimming every day."
Pooja's father Naresh Chaurushi, who is a businessman, is proud of her achievements and wants her to become a world class athlete.
"Pooja started swimming at an early age of six. Looking at her abilities we decided to get her properly trained and arranged for a coach," Naresh said. He said he quit his job and settled down in Surat so that he could get a proper trainer for Pooja. Besides triathlon, Pooja has also won medals at the national level in other sports too.
"I have won one gold and three bronze in Aquathlon, and three silver and two bronze for swimming. I have also got medals at state level," Pooja said.