VIJAYAWADA: American poet James Russell Lowell had once said: “Not failure, but low aim, is a crime.” K Pydappadu, a 17-year-old track athlete from Vijayawada who aspires to represent India in the Olympics, strongly believes in it. Despite being dogged by his family’s dire finances after the untimely death of his father in a road mishap in 2018, Pydappadu is determined to win an Olympic medal one day and gift it to his inspiration, his mother Narayanamma. He considers Indian track star PT Usha his role model.
To support his mother, the youngster works two jobs, as a paperboy and daily wager, even when he is pursuing an undergraduate degree. Amidst the hardships, he has won 17 medals in running contests at state-level athletic meets.
Seeing his physical capabilities, Pydappadu was initially encouraged to pursue athletics by his physical education teacher at Boyapati Sivaramakrishnaiah Municipal Corporation High School. “I practice on a synthetic track at Acharya Nagarjuna University. My coach and track and field athlete K Krishna Mohan helps me hone my skills. My mother Narayanamma is my prime source of inspiration as she supports me despite the hardships,” Pydappadu told TNIE.
The 17-year-old lives with his mother in a rented accommodation at Moghalrajpuram, and pays Rs 5,000 as monthly rent. After wrapping up his training, he goes to work at 10 am every day. “When I was in school, my PET motivated me to follow sports with the hope that it may help me land a job besides making me stronger and fit. Later, I underwent training under coach Krishna Kumari at Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation (IGMC) stadium.”
So far, the youth has won four gold medals in 800 metres under-16 category, three gold in 800 metres under-18 category and another two gold in 2,000 metres under-16 category. Besides, he has also won a bronze in 1,500 metres under-18 category, another bronze in 400x400 metres relay running and a silver in 400x400 metres mixed relay running.
Not just that, Pydappadu received four bronze in 5K and 10K marathon events held in Gudivada and Amaravati in 2018 and 2019. “I am training vigorously to win a gold in a junior athletics meet in January. My goal is to win in the Olympics, and gift the medal to my mother.”