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When Sayali, a Cobbler’s Daughter, Ran Barefoot and Won Gold

Sayali, a cobbler’s daughter, ran a 3000 meter race barefoot and won a gold medal. She grabbed the top spot despite facing the challenge of running without shoes on a hot synthetic surface.

They say the brightest of stars shine on the darkest of nights. And Sayali, the daughter of a cobbler in Mumbai, has proved this right.

She participated in a 3000-metre run at the school level, ran without shoes, and won a gold in the race.


She completed the race in 12:27.8 seconds in the Under-17 event at the District Sports Office inter-school athletic championships.

Her father, Mangesh, who repairs old shoes to feed his family, makes about Rs. 3000-10,000 a month. Whatever he earns goes towards the education of his two daughters.

Sayali, who is studying in Class 9, trained barefoot at the Naigaon Police Ground track. Used to practicing on mud, Sayali faced difficulties in running on a rough and hot synthetic surface for the actual race.

Aiming to just finish the race, Sayali did not expect to win a medal. In spite of several challenges, she managed to win the gold and make her parents proud. Mangesh wanted to watch her race but could not go due to his work. He encourages both his daughters to succeed in life and wants to see Sayali represent the country one day.

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