India registered their first gold medals at the Special Olympics World Games 2023, here, Geetanjali Nagvekar winning gold in the 800m Level C, to start, what would be a gold rush Tuesday, with as many as three more added by the end of the day’s action.
It all kicked off at the Hanns-Braun-Stadion at Olympiapark early in the morning, Geetanjali running a time of 4:31:40, almost eight seconds ahead of her competitor in second place to put India on the board early. Not long after, India added a silver in the male 800m. A heavy downpour, meant action at the athletics track was halted, and the focus shifted to the indoor arenas across Berlin.
Geetanjali Nagvekar , 20yrs, the sprinter from Goa aced the 800 mtr race this morning, winning India’s first gold medal at the world games. The intensive training for scaling her endurance reaped fruit, positioning her abilities from 100 mtr to 800. The intensive regimen of running on the beach back home in the scorching sun placed her in a powerful position.
Noteworthy is that the rest of the athletes, practicing in North Goa , irrespective of their sport discipline, ran with her to motivate her. Samantha D’souza, her Coach and many others ,left no opportunity that would improve her performance.
Her father is an auto driver and ensured that he travelled 15 kms , one way, everyday for her to practice. Doing so Geetanjali learnt to find her way to the practice grounds and back home through a bus and ferry. According to Samantha the Gold medal is a celebration and matter of pride, but a greater achievement is the noticeable and very pleasing change in Geetanjali in her behavior and her confidence levels.