Five sporting ratnas celebrate Kolkata's undying love for sports at TSK 25k's Beyond the Finish Line - Songoti

Five sporting ratnas celebrate Kolkata's undying love for sports at TSK 25k's Beyond the Finish Line

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Kolkata: The 8th edition of the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K celebrated inner strength of an athlete and their undying zeal to reinvent themselves with five great champions at the “Beyond the Finish Line” (BTFT) raising a toast to the spirit of Kolkata on Friday.

The evening saw International Event Brand Ambassador Colin Jackson speak about winning, racism and finding the inner strength to touch the winner's tape every time he stepped out on to the track. "I remember Carl Lewis tell me one time in a competition after I had become world champion that I had to change one aspect of my game--stop losing. It worked something up inside me. The rest is history," Jackson said while interacting at BTFL.

Talking about Indian sport, he said, "India is a sleeping giant. It's just waking up. Neeraj Chopra is the first of the many icons you are going to have in a hurry. I would love to come to this country and work here to help this country achieve that dream."

An accomplished all-rounder who played for Glamorgan, he said, "I decided to give up cricket when I was not selected for the Wales team because of my colour. I told myself I will play a sport where I control my destiny. Where if I cross the finishing line no one take away my glory in my sport. I never looked back at cricket."

Archer Deepika Kumari talked about the personal struggles before getting into archery, "I never knew how tough completions are when I started my career. When I played Commonwealth Games at the start of my career, during that time I got to feel the pressure and competitive side of it. Privileged to get Padma Shri from the govt for my success and my game," she said.

"I come from a very poor background. We had to go to the field to relieve ourselves and bathe in the river so when I got a chance to train in Tata Archery Academy I told myself I don't want to go back to my life. I gave everything to archery. And archery gave me back. Archery helped me survive. Again after motherhood I almost gave up sport but only after winning the national games this year I am filled with hope."

Archer Atanu Das and husband to Deepika said, "We have a similar background. I have grown up in a lower middle class family. Knew very little about my sport at the start.I was rejected by Tata Archery Academy. I did not go back, but it taught me a lesson. I focussed and in 2007 I won the subjunior nationals defeating a number of Tata cadets. They called me back. After that we never looked back. Deepika and myself plan to head for Paris together and win it together for India."

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