‘Queen Of Asia In The Mile’ PU Chitra Strikes Gold, Again
It’s back-to-back medal for sports sensation PU Chitra, who is often known as the “Queen of Asia in the Mile,” as she just won gold in the women’s 1500m at the Folksam Grand Prix in Sweden on Tuesday. She defeated Former Commonwealth Games Champion Kenya’s Mercy Cherono to lift the trophy. India’s top athlete Chitra in the women’s 1500m race bettered her own timing, clocked a season best of 4:12.65s at the Folksam Grand Prix while Cherono, former IAAF World Cross Country champion and silver medallist at the 2013 World Championships, finished 4:13:34s. Chitra finished as the winner of the prestigious competition.
Just two months ago, the Kerala athlete won a gold medalin women’s 1500m race at the Asian Athletics Championships. Her victory was then clocked in four minutes 14.56 seconds on the concluding day of the championships. Thus she successfully managed to defend the title she had won in the 2017 edition in Bhubaneswar. She ensured qualification for the IAAF World Championships in September.
The daughter of agricultural labourers Chitra won two gold medals in women’s 1500m at Asian Athletics Championships (2017 and 2019)
The girl from a nondescript village in Palakkad district of Kerala is working her way up with sheer hard work. She is currently one of India’s top medal prospects in middle-distance running at the international level.
In July 2017, the sprinter added a gold medal to India’s tally at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar. Chitra surpassed her personal best by 7 seconds– and sealed a berth for the upcoming World Championships (in Women’s 1500m). After the incredible show, she earned the tag of ‘Queen of Asia in the mile’. The footage of her gold-winning performance in the 1,500-metre race was widely circulated.
Chitra is the third woman from Kerala to represent India in 1500m at the world championships, OP Jaisha and Preeja Sreedharan being the first two.
Chitra’s career would have come to a premature end in 2011 due to an injury, but there’s no stopping her today. After settling for a silver at the National Senior Athletic Meet held in Gundur, she bounced back to clinch gold at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in September. In November, she erased a 17-year-old record at the Calicut University Athletic Meet to emerge as a champion in her favourite event.
In the all-India Inter-University championship also, she managed to retain gold. Chitra continued her gold hunt at the invitation athletics meet held in Jakarta, which was a test event for the Asian Games in Indonesia.
The 23-year-old had also won a bronze in the Jakarta Asian Games and won a yellow metal in the 2017 edition in Bhubaneswar in 4:17.92.
Feature Image Credit: Firstpost