Get to know national record-holder javelin thrower Annu Rani

Indian javelin thrower Annu Rani is the best woman athlete in her sport in the country.

Another Neeraj Chopra in the making 

Neeraj Chopra became a household name after striking gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Do keep track of another fine Indian javelin thrower, Annu Rani, who has broken her own national record multiple times in the last few years.

Annu Rani’s previous national record of 63.24 metres was made in Patiala in March, 2021.

Tokyo Olympian Annu Rani won gold in the fourth AFI Indian Open Javelin Throw Competition as she broke her own national record, managing an impressive 63.82 metres – a 58-centimeter increase over her previous national record.

Rani’s motivation

Below, Rani reveals how and why she took up sports.

“The girls in our village have to work a lot and then are married early. I did not want that sort of life for me, I wanted to leave the village, go out and do something big. I’m from a village in Uttar Pradesh and my father is a farmer. He was against me becoming an athlete initially, because he believed that girls shouldn’t play sports. I tried hard to convince him to let me play, I cried and pleaded with him. Finally, since I was the youngest at home and everyone was fond of me, he allowed it. He probably thought I’d play a little and end up at home,” Rani quipped.

“Once my performance started becoming better, my father let me play without opposition. Some time back, after I had played state and national level, we faced a financial crunch, but my father didn’t want me to stop playing and managed to get the money needed to support me. I have crossed 64 in practice but couldn’t do it in competitions. So now I am working on becoming stronger mentally and giving my 100%. I have not gone home for a year, despite everyone calling me,” she said.

All eyes are on Paris 2024

The 29-year-old had a below-par Tokyo Olympics campaign as she was unable to throw close to her best. Rani, who consistently throws at over 60m in practice, found her qualification attempts around the early 55m mark at the Olympics.

Rani has already broken the national record for the eighth time since taking it from Suman Devi back in June 2014 and is India’s best hope for a medal at the Paris Olympics.

Saksham Mishra

Justifying hours of watching sports by scribbling down a few logical lines that might just about hold your interest. Was not talented enough to make it as a professional cricketer, so the next best logical option was to enroll in a Mass Communication course, and write about sports instead. Because, what else is there to write about in this world, right?
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