Parul Chaudhary strikes gold, sets sights on DSP post and Olympics
Parul Chaudhary's gold medal win not only made her the first Indian woman to achieve this feat but also brought her closer to her dream of becoming a DSP.
Parul Chaudhary pushed harder in the last 50 metres of the 5000m race at the 19th Asian Games, and the stride she took to edge past Ririka Hironaka at the last moment was not just for the gold medal but also to bring her closer to her dream of becoming a DSP in the Uttar Pradesh Police.
In her pursuit of the gold medal and her dream of becoming DSP, Parul Chaudhary rewrote history as she became the first Indian woman ever to win the gold medal in the 5000m event.
Brimming with joy after her victory, Parul quipped, "I'm overjoyed. In the UP police, they directly promote us to DSP if we win gold. That's what I had in my mind - I want to be a DSP. I'm currently a ticket examiner in the Indian railways (in Mumbai)."
The path to this golden moment was not devoid of challenges. The day prior, Parul had competed in the 3000m Steeplechase, clinching a silver medal.
However, fatigue did not deter her from her ultimate goal. "I didn't sleep at all yesterday, despite feeling tired after the Steeplechase. My sole focus was to win gold today, especially after managing only a silver yesterday. My hard work has been answered. I've been training since 2011 and part of the camp since 2016. I want to express my gratitude to everyone who supported me," she said.
Starting the 5000m race from the sixth position, Parul exhibited an astonishing burst of speed in the last 100m, leaving Japan's Ririka Hironaka behind and clocking an impressive 15:14.75 to secure the historic gold.
Despite starting sixth, Parul knew that she was confident of finishing first, "I was confident that I'll come back from sixth. I just had two things on my mind I want to bring gold for India and I need a good government job," she said.
Her coach, Scott Simmons, offers insights into Parul's outstanding performance. "Parul has always displayed maturity. We aimed to secure all the medals," he explained.
When questioned about her race strategy of accelerating in the final 100m, Scott mentioned a new approach they had implemented. "She didn't slow down; it was her opponents who slowed down, and she simply had to maintain her pace. It is not a new strategy for me, but here it is new"
Asian Games medals typically come with numerous ceremonies to attend. Scott Simmons stressed the importance of maintaining a commitment to training, "Since she has qualified for the Paris Olympics, our next goal is to aim for those medals. We need to take a brief break, and I hope she won't be inundated with too many ceremonies, as our training time is limited."