The stadiums are a second home to 15-year-old high jumper Pavana Nagaraj. When she was just 4, she always followed her mom and dad, both ex national-level sportspersons, to top track-and-field meets all over the nation. Not only this, Pavana has watched them breaking huge records.
On Saturday, the 5-foot 8-inch teenager carried on her family custom, rewriting the under-16 national high jump record at the junior nationals in Guwahati by clearing the bar at 1.73 metres.
Back in the year 2012, Pavana’s mom Sahana Kumari attained a record of 1.92 m, which no Indian female has cracked up till now. Her dad BG Nagaraj has been a celebrated runner. Mr. Nagarah has also been crowned the fastest man in India in the year 2010, when he bagged the 100 m competition at the inter-state meet. BG Nagaraj’s unsurpassed record has been 10.50 seconds, which he achieved at the Asian Games trials.
While talking to media people, Pavana stated that she just loved paying a visit to the track with her mom and dad. “I would feel really upset on the days that my mother left me at home. So, on most days she took me along. It is due to my parents’ hard work that I have reached this far.”
She stated that attaining something huge in sports is her interest and passion and she has very big dreams.
Her dad, Nagaraj, said that the happiness of seeing Pavana hitting the record is a feeling that surpasses anything he or his companion has ever felt at a sporting field.
Mr. Nagaraj, who works with the Indian Railways as a sports coach, stated, “Athletics was in her blood. I am so elated that we have two current national record holders in our house. This is just the beginning, we have very big plans for her.”
Pavana’s parents didn’t have to push her in the direction of athletics. A high-jump award that she attained at the school level, and the gratitude, which followed was the incentive that she wanted.
“If you see her from behind, she almost looks like me. She has a lot of flaws that need to be ironed out. She has to work on improving her run-up. The strides need to be longer. She has a tendency to go too close to the bar; that has to be worked out as well,” said Sahana, who vied at the 2012 London Olympics.
After retiring in the year 2017, Sahana and Nagaraj commenced training promising athletes at Bengaluru’s SAI center.