BENGALURU: A a roller skater from Mysuru, Dr Varsha S Puranik, has won five golds and one silver medal at the 56th National Roller Skating Championship (Speed Inline Skating) held in Vizag last month. With this, she has set a record of winning the highest medal tally in senior women’s category.
The 31-year-old lab medicine consultant at a private hospital in the city represented Karnataka and won a gold medal in 20km road elimination; 500+D track; Road 1 lap race; Track 1000m and Track 3000m relay. She has won silver at 42 km marathon.
She has also won gold at the 500m and 1000m short track ice skating at the 15th National Ice Skating Championship held on December 30 and 31. Prior to this, Ice Skating camp was held from December 25 to 29. She has also won The Vasudha Trophy at the 500m event held at Gulmarg for only female ice skaters on December 31. She has bagged `75,000 cash prize in this event.
Speaking to City Express, she said: “The Roller Skating National Championship was very pleasing. My coach K Srikantha Rao had made me work hard after my return from the Asian games. Ice skating was tough as I had to get adjusted to my blades within no time and be ready for the National Short Track Ice Speed Championship.”
“With back to back events, it was very challenging to practice. I have not had time to relax for almost three months after my return from the international events,” she said. She added that it’s difficult to balance both profession and sports as well. “Because of strict time management, I am able to manage. Soon after I finish my work, I rush to practice. My colleagues help me too,” she added.
Puranik’s mother enrolled her in skating at the age of three. “I did my first ice skating at the age of 18 years. I was the youngest athlete to represent Karnataka in the National Roller Skating Championship.”
Puranik will start preparations for the upcoming trials to represent India in World Roller Games 2019, Barcelona. She said the races will be very tough and she wants to be a tough contestant in the championship.
Puranik has represented Karnataka in 23 national championships up to 2018, and has won 52 gold medals, and 17 silver medals, 7 Bronze medals at the National Championships (Speed Skating), organised by Roller Skating Federation of India (RSFI). She has won 1 gold and 1 silver at the 32nd National Games, 2002, Vishakhapatnam and was declared the National Champion nine times.
She has represented Karnataka in five National Ice Skating Championships and has won six golds and one bronze. Varsha has represented India in three world championships; six Asian Championships; three Asian Games (2 Summer and 1 Winter); and one World Games.