SEA Games: Debutant Aravinn doing it for dad


SINGAPORE: Sprinter G. Aravinn Thevarr is still coming to terms with the death of his father last month.

His father – 55-year-old pensioner P. Gunasegaran – died of lung infection at the Ipoh Hospital on May 11.

The 22-year-old lanky Aravinn hopes to make his late father proud as he prepares to make his SEA Games debut in Singapore in the men’s 200m event.

“I’m really sad to lose my father ... he loved me very much. What makes things worse is that I lost my mother (M. Karpagavalli) two years ago due to an illness also,” said Aravinn, the youngest of two siblings.

“I’m now all alone as my sister is married.

“I’m competing in the Games because of my dad ... he wanted to see me run and win a medal at the Games.

“So, I’m doing it for him,” added Aravinn, whose sister G. Kaavvinjile, 24, encouraged him to compete in the Games.

Aravinn qualified for the SEA Games after clocking a personal best of 21.40 to win the 200m gold in the Kinta Open in Ipoh in March.

He competed in the Perak Open on May 25 and clocked 21.94 to finish third.

Aravinn is aware that many think he doesn’t stand a chance to be on the podium because “I’m a newcomer”.

“I only joined the national training squad about three-and-half months ago. I’ve only competed in two events this year, but I hope to defy the odds,” he said.

“I really don’t know who are the favourites in the 200m event ... but I’m not too concerned because I’m here to give my best for my late parents.”

The other Malaysian in the men’s 200m event is 28-year-old teacher Mohd Izzuddin Yahaya of Perlis.

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