5 December 2022

Gandhinagar: It was no surprise that local girl Pragnya Mohan won the 36th medal for hosting Gujarat at the 36th National Games at the IIT campus in Gandhinagar on Sunday.

Pragnya’s gold was an outcome of a plan executed well by India’s first triathlete to compete at the Commonwealth Games. Her feat coming at an educational institute was, however, poetic justice to the self-made athlete, who started the sport with the help of books.

A practicing chartered accountant, Pragnya started training for a triathlon in 2013. Her father Pratap Mohan, an Indian Institute of Technology ( IIT ) and Indian Institute of Management ( IIM ) alumnus decided to guide her after reading books on the sport.

Pragnya goes by the books
Pragnya goes by the books

” I started training with my fat her after completing my schooling. Triathlon is a new sport in India, so there was no specialist coach available for the sport here, ” Pragnya, who clocked 1: 07.32s to top the two men’s individual podium. Mansi Mohite of Maharashtra finished the race in 1: 13.10s for silver, while Tamil Nadu’s Aarthi S took bronze with 1: 13.17s. A triathlete has to swim, cycle and run. The sport was introduced to the Olympics in the 2000 Sydney Games.

An engineer, Pratap didn’t want to make things too complicated by getting into the scientific side of the sport. He, however, ensured he passed on the documented information to his daughter. ” Internet was not very helpful around that time, so I used to order books from outside the country on triathlon, which we both used to read. I decided to implement things in Pragnya’s training, some worked and some backfired. It was like experiments, and Pragnya sometimes suffered in terms of getting injured, ” the father said.

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