Hailing from Mohi, a small town in Satara district of Maharashtra Lalita Babar is all set to add to the medal tally at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Olympic medal in athletics has remained a distant dream for India. However with a national record of 9:19.76 minutes in 3000 metre steeplechase at the RIO Olympics in 2016, Lalita Babar seems all geared up for the Tokyo Olympics.
Lalita Babar turned to Steeplechase after making a hat-trick at the Mumbai Marathon in 2014 by winning the event for three consecutive times. Following her win, she decided to compete in 3000m Steeplechase event at the 17th Asian Games in South Korea and won the bronze medal clocking 9:35.37 in the final, breaking the National record held by Sudha Singh.
Since then there was no looking back for the Arjuna awardee. At the 2015 Asian Championships she broke her own record clocking 9:34.13 to win the gold medal, booking a spot at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Further at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing she was the first woman to qualify for the Steeplechase final and was placed eighth.
Lalita once again bettered her record at the Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in New Delhi in 2016 by clocking 9:27.09. She became the first Indian in 32 years to enter the final in any track event and finished 10th at the Rio Olympics.
Babar has taken relentless efforts to better her timings and beat her own records in the last two years winning her many accolades. She was awarded the ‘Sports Person of the Year’ in the India Sports Awards organised by FICCI and Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports in 2015.
While top-notch athletes cannot be created in a short span, efforts are being taken to encourage them. With tremendous hard work and a good form Lalita Babar is on the right track of creating history by winning India a medal in the track events. India needs to motivate the efforts of the athletes to boost their morale and make it happen.