Sheer determination helped Sandra succeed

Shihabudheen Thangal

From her childhood onwards, Sandra wanted to become a runner.

From her childhood onwards, Sandra wanted to become a runner. However, she discontinued running when Mercy Kuttan Athletic academy rejected her on the grounds that running is not suitable for short people. Not to be dejected, she opted race-walking , a discipline in athletics, and trained hard under Maneesh, the physical education instructor at Kalladi School.

Since then she has not looked back. Sandra, who participated for the first time in National school Athletics meet, practicsed for just four months before the meet. However, she bagged the gold in 3 km walk by walking barefoot in the synthetic track. Sandra defeated athletes older than her to grab the gold. Sandra has thoroughly outclassed other athletes by finishing in just 15 minutes. Manju Rani of Punjab got the silver by finishing in 16 minutes and 25 seconds. Sandra is an 8th standard student at Kalladi shool in Kumaramputhur. She had bagged the gold in the state school athletics meet held at Kozhikode also. Sandra had finished in 14.08 minutes at the state meet. This win at the state meet is her career -best time also.

"Fearing foul, I reduced my speed. This was the reason for the longer duration in the national meet," Sandra told

Sandra is the daughter of Kalathil Surendran and Saraswathi of Nenmara. Twin sisters Rekha and Rashmi are her sisters. Like Sandra, they too are active in athletics.

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