Annu Rani clinched the gold medal in the women's javelin throw event at the 59th National Open Athletics Championships at Ranchi. Annu, who broke her own national record to enter the World Championships this year, is a prominent name in Indian athletics. All of Annu's six attempts were better than her rival Sharmila Kumari's best effort. Here are some details about Annu's career.
It was in a family cricket game where Annu's brother Umesh reportedly became conscious of her sister's upper body strength. Umesh, who was into athletics himself, decided to motivate his sister to try her luck in athletic activities as well. He made her practice with sugarcane which served as a pseudo-javelin pole. According to other reports, Annu was able to throw the javelin for a distance of up to 25 metres only in middle school. As Annu's career started taking off and her talent became apparent, her father started supporting her endeavours.
Annu trained in Patiala and then proceeded to break the javelin-throw record in 2014 by covering 58.83 metres. Qualifying for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Anu finished eighth at the competition with her longest throw being 56.37 metres. She won the bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games while breaking her own record as she threw for a long 59.53 metres. She later became the first Indian women to break the 60-metre barrier when her throw landed at 60.01 metres.
In 2019, Annu broke her own record for the fourth time by making a throw of 62.43 metres which helped her enter the finals for the IAAF World Championships 2019 in Doha last month. In the National Open Athletics Championships, Annu has proven herself once again as she captured the gold with a throw of 58.60 metres. Annu uses her platform to speak up about the equal opportunities that women should get in the sport.