Image Credits: Sree Kiran
Coonoor middle-distance-runner Sree Kiran is making waves with a series of impressive performances representing Tamil Nadu.
Sree Kiran arrived on the Indian running scene in style with an impressive gold at the 2018 Youth Olympics Games’ Asian Area Athletics qualification meet in Bangkok. His winning time of 1:50:93 helped him book a spot for the Youth Olympics, in which, he clocked 3.58.93 in the final place ranking 22nd overall, however; he is particularly proud of compete against world-class athlete and aims to keep making strides in improving his marks in the sport.
Sree Kiran journey has not been smooth sailing. With his family finding it difficult to make ends meet, it was the alumni association of Sreekiran’s school — St Joseph’s Boys Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School — in Nilgiris that pooled in money to fund him.
Last year, he won silver in Khelo India School Games and gold at the state youth championships, he bagged silver in the Federation Cup in April. Now with the Khelo India Games just around the corner, the 17-year-old will be looking to make his mark once again and will be one exciting athlete to watch in the tournament.
His true potential is yet to be known, but to this point, we’ve seen glimpses of greatness fueled by his dedication to training and strong natural talent.
Fisto have spoken to Sree Kiran about his training and his upcoming goals and races.
Can you share us the story on how you get into athletics in the first place?
When I was in 5th standard, our school's relay team got disqualified in an Inter-school event and I was the main reason for it. It was a big failure for me to step into success. That was the first time I able to get my first glimpse of experience in athletics but it was when I studied 10th standard I took the sport very seriously and started to participate in tournaments and et al.
It appears you are intrinsically motivated by the idea of training alone at least for now since you’re not currently working with Coach Mohamed Azarudeen. So, how does that individual training session going – did you find any difficulties or easy going?
Yes, it is difficult to train individually. But I get motivated by seeing other Indian athletes and that’s what makes me keep pushing forward.
What drives you to compete/ going for more – in the upcoming tournaments? Is it a love of running or getting up for the big competitions?
I love running... I plan to run and train as much as possible and maintain my fitness. That is what drives me for more and eagerness to participate in the bigger competition.
What does a typical training week look like for you? And where do you train?
A scheduled week of training is a small task where dedication and hard work has to be put together. I train in Madras Regimental Centre ground wellington, Nilgiris.
Khelo India Sports tournament is just a couple of days away – what are your goals for this meet?
My main goal is to improve my timing and set new records.
Have you always primarily been a long-distance runner or you tried sprinting before choosing 800m?
Initially, I tried 1500mts, and then I chose to 800m as my main event.
What do you feel are your main strength in athletics? Endurance! Last year probably was the turning point to your athletic career when you sealed a place in the Youth Olympics. It must be difficult to cope with and run in Argentina’s climate with such world-class athletes participating. So, how do you rate the experience and what you learned it and how you gonna make that experience into success this year?
It was a good experience for me that I got to meet many experienced athletes. It was a good lesson for me to take things seriously to train well to compete with world-class athletes.
How do you handle missing out on activities with friends because of your athletic schedule?
Actually, I do not miss any activities when I am in town I try to balance both but after competing in youth Olympics I learnt a lesson that sacrificing such things gives good results. Also, I make sure that I have a balance between school work and running which is the perfect outlet for tough times during senior years of school.
How loving and supportive your parents/ school with your athletic career?
My mother is my biggest motivator and my school also supports me in lots of ways. And one of my biggest supports is our school ALUMNI ASSOCIATION.
Off the track what are your hobbies and interests?
At times playing cricket, listening to songs and watching movies.
Other than Khelo India tournament – what are some of your medium/short term goals? (Within the next year or so)
I am going to prepare for competitions to compete with senior athletes in the senior competition.
Favourite movie: Goosebumps
Favourite actor: Dhanush
Who comes to your meets/practice session to cheer you on? My dad and Mom.
One accomplishment you’re most proud of? Getting a chance to participate in summer youth Olympics
If you could duet with an actress, who would it be? Emma Watson
Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman? Spiderman
What is the one favourite WORD you learned your time in Argentina that you’re extremely fond of/still using: Hola
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