The Ironman, is for well-trained elite athletes who push themselves to the limit.
Former Marine Commando Praveen Teotia, 33, was injured during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Four bullets damaged his lungs and his ear, and around 100 splinters are still lodged in his body. He had multiple surgeries and doctors had given up on him. Although his injuries caused impairments that disqualified him from combat, Praveen refused to give up.
Determined to continue his journey, Praveen ran the 72 km Khardung-La Marathon in Ladakh in 2017, managing to make it well within the stipulated time, even receiving a medal. Read more about this thrilling story here.
Praveen does extraordinary tasks, to push himself further each time. His life till now has been an arduous, long adventure.
And this time, the hero of 26/11 and a Shaurya Chakra awardee has become India’s first disabled Ironman.
He won the Ironman title at the Triathlon Championships 2018 in South Africa. Consisting of three stages–running, cycling and swimming, this athletic competition is considered to be one of the most challenging ones in the world.
Praveen cycled for 180.2 km, ran for 42.2 km, and swam for 3.86 km, to finish the event successfully.
His victory, however, did not come easy. The derailleur of his cycle broke down, forcing him to cycle uphill for the remaining 70 km with an injured knee and ankle. He suffered, his leg bleeding while he ran.
Praveen was trained by Kaustubh Radkar, who is a certified triathlon coach, having finished Ironmans till date. Quitting his job as security personnel at the Taj Group, Praveen consulted Radkar to be trained by him in Goa.
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Radkar gave testimony to Praveen’s incredible endurance and said to the Free Press Journal that Marine Commandos like Praveen, undergo rigorous training and fight till the end, never giving up. The coach added that it was a pleasure for him to work with Praveen.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)