Home Sports Athletics Sarita Gayakwad Biography, Age, Gold medal, Commonwealth Games

Sarita Gayakwad Biography, Age, Gold medal, Commonwealth Games

Daughter of daily wage earners broke all shackles and rose to great heights. A classic example of how with sheer dedication and hard work, anything is possible. She is the first woman athlete from Gujarat to win an Asian gold medal for India. Sarita Gayakwad is truly an inspiration and her life story sure needs to be celebrated.

There were days when she ran barefoot because she didn’t have money even to buy shoes. There were days when she lived in a thatched hut when she couldn’t even get her mother a pressure cooker. But she did not let any of that deter her from her goal. She fought every obstacle to emerge triumphant. Let’s explore her inspiring tale…

Details
Full Name
Saritaben Laxmanbhai Gayakwad
Age
26 years (as of 2020)
Sport Category
Track and Field
Event
400 metres and 400 metres hurdles
Date of Birth
1 June 1994
Hometown
Amba, Gujarat, India
Height
168 cm
Weight
58 kg
Coach
KS Ajimon

Sarita Gayakwad Biography

Early Life

Sarita’s proud parents | Credits: DNA India

Sarita Gayakwad was born and brought up in a tribal village of Kharadi Amba in Dang district. Her tryst with sports began in the childhood itself. In an interview, Sarita revealed how she would get inspired by watching the likes of Sania Mirza and others on DD sports channel at her uncle’s place. “I wanted to be like them, I wanted to wear India’s T-shirt and make my country proud,” she said.

However, her family faced a lot of financial problems, and it wasn’t easy for them to sponsor sports equipment for Sarita. For many years they stayed in a thatched hut.

Initially, Sarita played kho kho as well and represented Gujarat state 17 times in national level competitions. After initial success in track and field as well as kho kho, she had to make a choice in order to give utmost focus to one game.

She was selected in a talent hunt program in 2012, which gave a big boost to her career. There she first won 400m running and 4x 400m relay.

Sarita was first noticed by athletics coach KS Ajimon. He saw a spark in her and wanted to ensure that she got the best training to hone her skills. Sarita started training at Nadiad’s Center of Excellence. Her coaches at Nadiad and Patiala played a huge rule at the beginning of her career.

“I was very impressed when I first saw her in June 2015. She covered 400m in about one minute and I knew she was made for bigger things,” Ajimon was quoted by Asian Age.

Sarita Gayakwad at Commonwealth Games 2018

She established herself as an athlete with superb potential by winning a bronze medal in 2014-2015, silver in 2015-2016, and a gold medal in 2016-2017 in Inter-University National level athletics tournament.

After that, she was included in the Indian training camp at Patiala. She represented India at the Asian Championship in 2017. She also won 2 gold medals at the Asian Games trials.

All this meant that Sarita Gayakwad was in great shape to qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. And qualify she did! In fact, Sarita became the first track and field athlete from Gujarat to qualify for the Commonwealth Games. However, she couldn’t turn her qualification into a medal, finishing seventh in the final.

But the disappointment did set the stage for bigger things.

Asian Games 2018

Credits: New Indian Express

Sarita Gayakwad turned the failure at the 2018 Commonwealth Games into her strength and put a great performance at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.

Sarita, along with her teammates – MR Poovamma, Hima Das, and VK Vismaya, won the gold medal with a timing of 3:28.72.

Sarita’s Asian Games gold medal was celebrated with a lot of grandeur in her Karadi Amba village. Along with her own home, the entire village seemed to be celebrating a big festival.  Sweets were distributed and firecrackers were burst. Traditional Dangi dance was performed by the village troupe.

“We are very happy and proud that Sarita has won the gold medal. The whole country is celebrating her success,” Sarita’s father Laxmanbhai told DNA India.

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🇮🇳

A post shared by Sarita Gayakwad (@sarita.gayakwad) on

Unknown Facts about Sarita Gayakwad

  • In the district level competition, Khel Mahakumbh, she won total prize money of ₹ 25,000. It was one of the most ecstatic moments of her life. She realised her true potential as an athlete then.
  • Sarita has seen extreme poverty. So much so that her first motivation to take up a career in sports was collecting enough money to buy a pressure cooker for her mother.
  • After winning the Asiad gold, Sarita received a lot of love and financial support from various governmental and other organisations. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced a cash prize of ₹ 1 crore.
  • Her alma mater Veer Narmad South Gujarat University also declared a cash prize of 2 lakh rupees.
  • Sarita has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Gujarat State Poshan Abhiyan.
  • Along with her thriving career as an athlete, Sarita is working as an income tax official as well.

Achievements

Asian Games

Year Place Event Medal
2018 Jakarta, Indonesia Women’s 4*400 m Gold

Asian Championships

Year Place Event Medal
2019 Doha, Qatar Women’s 4*400 m Silver
2019 Doha, Qatar 400 m hurdles Bronze

Social Media

View this post on Instagram

My birthday celebration 🎂🎂🥰

A post shared by Sarita Gayakwad (@sarita.gayakwad) on

View this post on Instagram

Elle 22th Anniversary cover pic 😍

A post shared by Sarita Gayakwad (@sarita.gayakwad) on

The youngster is all set to have a dream career as an athlete. There’s no doubt about her talent as well as hard work. She has risen from the clutches of poverty and uplifted her family with her success. Truly an inspiration for everyone, we wish Sarita all the very best for her career.

Mamta Thatte
A passionate foodie, a versatile writer, and now a sports enthusiast, Mamta is always open to exploring new avenues. She has a vast experience in Web Content Writing, Editing, and Social Media Management. A self-confessed coffee and dark chocolate addict, she believes in following her heart and giving her 100% into everything she does.

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