Overcoming 'gender' controversy, Pinki Pramanik returns to major athletics after eight years
Four years after overcoming a controversy over her gender, Pramanik returned to her first major athletics competition in the Federation Cup and finished seventh in the women's 100m dash.
New Delhi: Four years after overcoming a controversy over her gender, Pinki Pramanik on Thursday returned to her first major athletics competition in the Federation Cup and finished seventh in the women's 100m dash in New Delhi.
The 30-year-old, representing West Bengal, clocked 12.33 seconds in the finals to mark her return to the tracks, eight years after her last race on the first day of the Federation Cup National Athletics Championships at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
She will also take part in her per event 400m and 800m races. Pramanik was part of gold medal-winning Indian women 4x400m relay team as well as silver medal-winning Indian women 4x400m relay team. She won a gold each in 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay in the 2006 South Asian Games in Colombo.
In 2012, a rape allegation by Pramanik's female friend led to medical tests to determine her gender. After several tests at private clinics, at a Government Hospital in Kolkata and later court-directed chromosome pattern test, no conclusive proof could be arrived whether she could have committed the alleged crime or not.
Pramanik said that she was left to fend for herself but she was still determined to come back to athletics.
"Nobody supported me when my life was in crisis. I was left alone. But I was determined that I would come back to athletics," Pramanik, now 30, said after her 100m finals.
"Somehow, I got a job as a TTE at the Railways at Sealdah but I have not got my salary for the last three months. I am currently training at the SAI Center at Kolkata with my coach Tarunkumar Saha as I wanted to run again," she said with her voice choking.
"I had seen the worse of times. I had done daily labourers job, breaking stones at roadsides. I have seen all and I have forgotten them also. I am much stronger person now and I want to bring laurels for the country.
"Now, I want to qualify for the Rio Olympics in the women's 4x400m relay race. I will approach the AFI and head coach Bahadur Singh sir to include me in the women's 4x400m relay squad. I want to join national camp," she said.