From delivery boy to star sprinter: Odisha lad’s inspirational journey

Bargarh: Meet this minor boy and Gold Medalist of the 38th National Junior Athletics Championships 2023, who recently bagged the coveted award in the 200-metre race and has won the hearts of many. The little champ from Bargarh district was once a delivery boy and this is a story about his struggle days.

The Class X student Pratik Maharana resides along with his family in Danga village in Bargarh town of this district. Pratik is the son of Judhisthir Maharana. The five-member family includes Pratik’s parents, his sister Prativa, and his grandmother. They reside in a rundown kutcha house in the locality.

Despite living in penury during his childhood days, the financial difficulties could not deter Pratik’s willpower. He continued his practice of the sport until he became a junior national champion.

Before the national championship held in Coimbatore of Tamil Nadu, Pratik had won medals in state-level athletics competitions and was conferred Gold twice in a 100-metre race and once in a 200-metre race. Pratik’s success story motivated a well-known coach and his mentor Siba Prasad Mishra, who trained him and extended financial support to the athlete in making at the time of exigencies.

Pratik works as a delivery boy to support his father and meet the household expenses as well.

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