Winning a medal at an international competition is something every athlete looks forward to, but what Sanjeevani Jadhav from Maharashtra, who won a silver at the recently concluded World School Games Olympiad in Brazil, coming back to her books is equally important for her dream of being a civil servant.
Seventeen-year-old Jadhav was part of the 60-member Indian contingent, which competed across three categories — athletics, gymnastics and swimming — from November 27 to December 3. She won a silver in the 3,000-metre race.
Jadhav, a Std XII student of the Bhonsala Military School in Nashik, left her home in Vadalibhoi, over 60km away, to pursue her love for athletics.
“I have been running in various competitions since Std V, but I started training only a year back,” she said.
Jadhav trains with her coach for more than four hours every day.
However, even after long training hours, she returns to her books at the end of the day.
“My board exams are early next year. So, now, I will not participate in many competitions but will continue with my training,” she said.
Jadhav, who is currently pursing arts, wants to appear for the civil service examinations after completing her graduation.
“I will continue to be a sportsperson but I also want to crack the MPSC or UPSC exam and be a civil servant,” said Jadhav, whose father is a teacher in Vadalibhoi.
Team India also won four other medals. Kerala’s Anjali Jose won a silver in the 400-metre hurdles race, Shakti Solanki from New Delhi, Kerala’s Babita Chukkanmarthodi and Lekha Unni won the bronze in shot-put, 800-metre and 1,500-metre, respectively.
“It is the first time such a huge team has gone for the world Olympiad, which happens every four years. This has also been our best performance so far,” said MD Mote, head of the contingent.
While the team is extremely happy to bring some medals back home, they are also hoping that the infrastructure in India gets better.
“The facilities abroad are much better than India. I hope things improve here too,” said Jose, who lives in a sports hostel in Kottayam, Kerala.