Revathi Virmani recognized Revathi’s talent for running barefoot in a competition at the Tokyo Olympics Kanna coached India’s 4×400m relay team and later began coaching her. The first challenge for Revathi to run barefoot was I sat And my whole journey unfolded before my eyes’, are the words of Indian athlete Revathi Virmani. Revathi said after knowing that she has been selected for Tokyo Olympics. The journey to Tokyo has been a tough one for the 23-year-old from Tamil Nadu.
She was orphaned at the age of seven and was raised by her grandmother, who worked as a daily wage labourer. His grandmother couldn’t even buy him a pair of shoes. His grandmother Arammal was a daily wage laborer, so his financial condition was very bad. Revathi is a member of India’s 4X400m relay team.
In the beginning Revathi used to live barefoot. His life was very normal for others but while coaching at the Madurai Center of the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, Kanna recognized an athlete hiding inside Revathi. He saw Revathi running at MGR Racecourse Stadium in 2014-15. Revathi could not win that race but the coach recognized the talent of the 17-year-old girl.
Dhawan’s blast against Sri Lanka broke Vivian Richards’ record of watching a girl run barefoot and I was very impressed with her performance. I found out where he lives and decided to go to his house to meet him. Revathi’s grandmother turned down my offer to train her, thinking that the training would be too expensive. Kannan said that he comes from a very poor family and it was impossible for him to play full time.
“I could not even pay Rs 40 for the bus fare from my home to the training centre, but Kannan Surrey helped me,” Revathi said. Revathi’s grandmother finally agreed when coach Kanna made several attempts. Kanna not only started giving free coaching to Revathi but also gave her free admission in Lady Dock College, Madurai. The first challenge for Revathi was to run wearing shoes.
Although Canaan Surrey gave me shoes, I was inclined to run barefoot. “Over time, I learned to put on shoes and run,” she said. The biggest moment for him came in 2016 when he won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the Junior Nationals in Coimbatore. Kannan said, “Her performance made me realize that Revathi can achieve great things.”
‘Dilwale’ Shah Rukh Khan helped Dinesh Karthik, gave his private jet in times of trouble, coached Kanna to Revathi till 2019 and later she went to Patiala for the national camp. Early in his career, he competed in the 100m and 200m. Revathi became quarter-miler because of India’s 400m coach Galina Bukhari. In 2019, Revathi won the women’s 400 meters at the Indian Grand Prix 5 and 6. His times in both were 54.44 and 53.63 seconds, respectively.
He was ruled out in the first half of the current season due to a knee injury. But she made a comeback in the 400m through the Indian Grand Prix 4 last month and was also the winner. Revathi topped the 4x400m final with a timing of 53.55s. The election in Tokyo means that Revathi’s wedding plans have been pushed back for the time being.
He said, “My grandmother wants me to get married but because of the Olympics she has changed her mind and currently I am allowed to do what I am doing.” Revathi is working as Ticket Collector in Southern Railway in Madurai.
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