From the remote village of Kabra in Rajasthan, India, emerged India’s first female race walker to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Unacclaimed at the time, Bhawna Jat’s talents were brought to the limelight in the 2019 National Open Race-Walking Championship in Ranchi where she qualified for the Olympics with a national record-breaking timing of 1:29.54!
However, the path was full of obstacles. Apart from her family’s financial struggles, she also had to battle the conservative mindset of her village elders as they disapproved of her western training attire and thus barred her from training at the mud field she previously used. As a result, she was forced to train at 3am under the cloak of darkness under her brother’s supervision. She even had to go barefooted to avoid alerting the neighbours! She braved through all this and today she is a role model for the youth of the country.
Amaani Paul -