Road running

Training without a coach due to financial constraints, Kerala's Sujith MS bags two golds at 20th National Para Athletics

Bhubaneswar: MS is a very popular acronym in Indian sports. Whenever one hears some one mention ‘MS’, one’s mind undoubtedly revolves back to the country’s cricketing legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Matching the legacy of MS Dhoni is a far-fetched idea but hoping to do it with ease is Kerala’s Sujith MS.

Hailing from the Thrissur district, Sujith pocketed both the Men’s T12 100m and T12 Long Jump gold medals at the ongoing 20th National Para-Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar.

Born partially blind due to an issue in the nerves of both his eyes, it was not until 2021 that Sujith came across the concept of para-sports. The now 30-year-old has won 3 national gold medals since then.

“I came across para-sports only in early 2021 and registered for the 19th National Para Athletics in Bangalore last year. I went there without any formal training but managed to return with a gold medal in the long jump. That’s when I got the confidence that this is something I could do,” Sujith tells The Bridge after his 100m win at the Kalinga Stadium.

Born to a family of farmers, Sujith trains without a professional coach due to financial constraints.

“I am 30-year-old and have never received any professional training so far in my life. A physical education teacher back in my hometown guides me a bit. That’s how I have reached till here,” he says.

Though highly talented, Sujith does not have all his hopes pinned on success in para-sports. He is also studying to get a job in the banking sector.

Sujith followed up his T12 100m gold with a medal of similar colour in the T12 Long Jump. The Kerala lad, though, was disappointed with his show in the long jump pit.

“I had jumped 6.88m at the Nationals last time, this time I barely managed to cross 6m. I am very happy that I have managed to pocket two gold medals, but I believe I can improve more,” he states with a wry smile.

Having clinched two gold medals in Bhubaneswar, Sujith has just one simple question.

“Will I get a call-up from any Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre?” he asks the reporter and a fellow teammate.

Just when we reassure him that he might just get lucky this time around, his eyes light up with the possibility of making it to the upcoming 2022 Asian Para Games in Hangzhou.

“I want to make it to the Indian contingent for the Asian Games. Even if I don’t make it, at least I want to give it a shot,” Sujith walks away.

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