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Gomathi Marimuthu, a middle distance runner from Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, won India’s first gold medal in the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships at the Khalifa Stadium in Qatar on April 22.

Marimuthu emerged from the back to take the lead position in the final few seconds of the 800-metre event. She finished with her personal best of 2 minutes, 2.70 seconds.

The 30-year-old developed an interest in athletics in school and was encouraged by her father, a farm labourer, who used to cycle 5 km daily to drop her for training.

She started training professionally when she got into college and also received a job at the Income Tax department in Bengaluru.

In 2013, she reached the finals of the 800m event at the Asian Championship in Pune. However, in September 2016, she lost her father to colon cancer. Marimuthu told TNIE,





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