Goa Express athlete commits suicide

SANDESH PRABHUDESAI, PANAJI | 10 October 2001 21:49 IST

Pratima Gaonkar, an athletic champion at Asian Athletic Championship, committed suicide last night.

Known as 'Goa Express', Pratima had bagged silver medal at the ninth Asian Junior Athletic Championship, held at Brunei from 19 to 22 July this year, in 4x400 relay.

The 19-year old athlete jumped into a well behind her house, in a remote village of Kirlpal in Eastern Goa. The reason to commit suicide is still not known.

The news hit the state capital as a shock since Pratima was the first Goan to represent the country at Asian championship. The state government had also honoured her with a token of Rs 75,000.

Pratima was selected after she bagged silver medal at Federation Championship held in Bangalore. Following P T Usha as her model, the young athlete had her eyes on representing India at Olympics.

After excelling at Asian level, she was to leave for Chennai to participate in under-22 nationals, to be held on 24 October.

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