Updated February 29th, 2024 at 22:47 IST

How Vikash overcame heart problem to rewrite KIUG 2023 record?

Chandigarh University student Vikash created a Khelo India University Games record in 1500m race.

Vikash | Image:KIUG
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Vikash’s recent record-breaking win in 1500m race at the 4th Khelo India University Games 2023, Ashtalakshmi here depicts a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human will. Discovering his athletic prowess while preparing for the Indian Army Agniveer Physical Fitness Test in 2022, fate led him to clear the physical test but stumble at the written admission examination. Rather than succumbing to disappointment, Vikash recognized his exceptional physical endurance and embraced a new dream – a career in the 1500m race.

The narrative took a challenging turn just 20 days before the KIUG 2023. A sudden pain in Vikash's chest raised concerns, leading to an ECG test that revealed a heart beating slower than normal. Despite this setback, Vikash's determination soared. The Chandigarh University not only aspired to participate in the event but set an ambitious goal of establishing a new Games record. 

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With only few days left for the competition, the 20-year-old shifted his complete focus on recovery, which included taking medicines and proper rest, and in the meantime, Vikash trained whenever it was possible. Owing to his resilience, Vikash was not only able to participate in the event but clinched the gold. Interestingly, he finished the 1500m race in 3:50.70s, surpassing the previous Games record of 3:51.61s.

"With just days remaining for the competition, conquering chest pain posed a formidable challenge. Yet, it went beyond mere recovery; it was about etching my name into the annals of Khelo India Games. So, I did whatever I could to recover in time in order to not to let go of this opportunity to make history," said Vikash.

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Hailing from the Bhiwani district in Haryana, Vikash's journey was marked by financial struggles as the son of a farmer and homemaker. Undeterred, he secured a gold medal in 1500m run and a bronze in 800m run at the 38th National Junior Athletics Championships in 2023.

Reflecting on his humble beginnings, Vikash remarked, "I ran on dusty tracks, dreaming of a future beyond financial constraints. Trusting in my hard work, I held onto the belief that achieving my goals required unwavering self-trust, hence I never gave up.”

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In 2024, Vikash found sanctuary in a sports nursery in Hisar, Haryana. This haven provided him with proper nutrition, quality gear, and a monthly stipend, alleviating the financial burdens that once hindered his progress. With newfound support, Vikash can now wholeheartedly focus on honing his skills and reaching greater heights as an athlete.

Vikash's ultimate aspiration is to bring glory to his nation by winning medals at the international level, particularly in the Olympics. Additionally, he aims to secure a government job based on his athletic performance, intending to provide financial support to his family.

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"My dream is to honour my nation by securing medals on the global stage, especially in the Olympics. Beyond the podium, I strive to secure a government job through my athletic endeavours, aspiring to provide crucial financial support to my family. For me, it's not just about personal achievement; it's about using my success to uplift those who have been with me throughout my journey," he said.
 

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Published February 29th, 2024 at 22:47 IST