Abha Khatua's life seems to have changed after 10 August 2019, after she defeated Swapna Burman in javelin throe to earn the gold medal in the 69th West Bengal State Athletics Championship. Besides, she also won a gold medal in shot-put, throwing 15.85 metres to break a 17-year-old record.
After consistently sweating it out in practice, Abha took part in all the events starting from middle-distance running to heptathlon, but she has set her focus on shot-put exclusively for the last six months. Speaking to The Bridge on at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex in Kolkata, Abha said, “I threw javelin mainly because it was the state athletics meet. Otherwise, I have given my full concentration on shot-put.”
Abha has been receiving congratulatory messages and phone calls after her triumph over Swapna. She feels that her social status in the athletics fraternity has raised, although she remembers that after the victory, Swapna avoided in posing for a photograph with her despite repeated requests from the photographers. She said:
Abha, after a lot of hardship in her journey so far, is going to face another crucial hurdle, which is to secure a job. If things go the right way, she will join Customs from the next month. Abha asserted:
The 24-year-old athlete dreams of lifting her family members out from dire financial distress which has still been a key obstruction. Abha explained, “My father still spends the whole year in farming in others' land. My elder brother and mother also help my father. In my childhood, I used to help them, as well. But now, if my job is ensured, then I will contribute to my family so that my parents do not have to go through the rigorous workload in farming.”
Abha’s aim is to throw at least more than 17 metres by this year. She hopes to get into the Indian team if she can throw the distance. Ava seemed positive when she said, “I will surely cover the distance of 17 meters by this year. I have been dreaming of donning India shirts since I joined athletics in my childhood.”