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Plumber’s son opens the tap of joy with silver medal at Asian Games | Allahabad News – Times of India

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PRAYAGRAJ: There were times when Ajay Kumar Saroj had to borrow shoes from his friends to participate in competitions. But it didn’t deter this 26-year-old from pursuing his dream of becoming a world-class runner.
And on Sunday, he made all proud by bagging Silver medal in the 1,500m race in the 19th Asian Games being held in China. Hailing from a small village Kajiani (in Soraon block), Ajay had actively taken up sports since his teen years.
He used to practise at the ground of Meva Lal Inter college of his village under the supervision of his father Dharamraj. His four siblings too are into athletics.
His father, a plumber by profession, never let his meagre income come between the dream of his children. And for that, he didn’t even shy away from borrowing money to buy shoes and kits for his kids. “I was a good runner during my school days but after early marriage and later kids, the talent somewhat lost its shine but then when my kids started showing interest, I guided them and steadily all the four of them showed vast potential. Since I had limited income and yet I wanted my kids to be star runners one day, I took the job as a plumber and we somehow managed our kitchen and even borrowed money to buy shoes and kits for them,” Dharamraj told TOI.
First it was the eldest of the five, Ajit, who followed his father’s wish and soon the daughters Shashi and Shastri joined too. Ajit has won gold medals in national level competition in 800m and 1500m race. Shashi and Shastri too have won medals in national level competitions in 10,000m and 5,000m races. Shastri has also won Indira Marathon.
However, in due course of time, Ajit got a job in Railways under sports quota. He is presently posted at Jamshedpur. As the condition of the family started improving, Ajit started helping and encouraging Ajay.
Ajay’s mother Rani Devi said: “Many a times Ajay used to borrow shoes from his friends to participate in competitions. Despite all the hardship, he always believed that he would change the destiny of the family and bring laurels for the country.”
Presently Ajay is working in Railways. He has won gold medals in the 1500m event at the 2016 South Asian Games and 2017 Asian Athletics Championships. He has also won Gold in 1500 m event at South Asian Games 2019.

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