Double Celebration For Xavier Gold Medallist

It was a double celebration for Xavier College’s John Raju when he won the junior boys 1500 metres gold medal during the Coca-Cola Games last Friday. Minutes after his win,
27 Apr 2018 10:30
Double Celebration For Xavier Gold Medallist
From left; Allamelu Raju, Anand Raju, John Raju, Shania Matilda Raju, Avinesh Raju (father), Jotishma Singh (mum- carrying baby Krishneel Jnr) and Savita Singh at their family home in Lautoka, on April 26, 2018 Photo: Peni Komaisavai

It was a double celebration for Xavier College’s John Raju when he won the junior boys 1500 metres gold medal during the Coca-Cola Games last Friday.

Minutes after his win, Raju was told of the news that his mum had given birth at Lautoka Hospital.

“I was so excited,” the Year 9 student told SUNsports yesterday.

“I’m the eldest in our family and I have a sister Shania who is 10-years-old and now my baby brother Krishnil.”

The youngster hails from Lautoka while his mother is from Ba.

Raju said winning the gold medal was something that was beyond his expectation.

“I attended Lautoka Methodist Primary School and I didn’t involve myself with athletics,” he said.

“To become an athlete was not my dream and to take up running for the first time was a big challenge for me.”

Raju said after talking with his coach, they decided that he would run in the 1500m race.

“It’s my first time to take part in athletics and I only took it up just to have an experience of it.

“Now I think I will still stick to this event because I want to see how far it can take me.

“I will be representing the school in years to come and also plan to better my performance before next year’s Coca-Cola Games.

Going through the final moments of his winning run, Raju says, confidence was what pulled him through to the finishing line.

“Drawing closer to the last bend, I kept believing that I could finish first,” he recalled.

“I was gasping for air but at the same time I kept telling myself that I can do it. It was that confidence that kept me going.”



Looking ahead, Raju says, he wants to continue his studies at tertiary level and pursue a career in aircraft engineering.

“My subjects in school are Maths, English, Social Science, Elementary Science, Basic Technology and Agriculture Science.

“Like I had said, I want to be an aircraft engineer for my personal development and also I will be able to support my family.”



He attributed his success to his coach, teacher and uncle, Krishnil Singh.

“He (Singh) is my mothers’ brother. He was also an athlete and represented Khalsa College from 2000 to 2004. I’m grateful to my uncle for always pushing me to win and become a somebody.

“He inspired me the most. My uncle was there to pick me up and trained me to become stronger and to always believe in myself.”

Singh said that he plans to build-up Raju in athletics and to represent the country in the future.

“My aim is for him to represent the country and also his family to national and international games in the future,” he said.

“At the moment family members who saw what John had achieved have started training in the morning and afternoon. I am so happy that this generation has continued what I have started.

“I brought him to stay with me in Ba because of his education and also I saw what he was capable of so I started to develop his athletics skills.”

For now, Raju has continued on with his training but at the same time he’s spending as much time with his family, especially with his week-old baby brother.


– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua




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