Odia kid aspires to become country’s youngest marathoner


Unlike other kids of his age, four-year-old Dibya Ranjan wakes up early in the morning and runs for 25 to 30 km daily.His father Dhun Charan Ojha, who wants Dibya to break national record in marathon, follows him on a bicycle. Dhun Ojha of Jahinabad village under Balikuda tehsil has set a goal for his son. He wants to make the kid the youngest marathon runner of India.

Inspired by Budhia Singh who ran from Puri to Bhubaneswar at the age of five covering a distance of 65 km in seven hours and two minutes to enter the 2006 edition of Limca Book of Records, Dhun was shattered when his daughter could not fulfil his dream of being the queen of Indian athletics due to a defect in her legs.

A mason by profession, Dhun, despite lack of Government support and funds, ensures that his son is not deprived of practice and proper diet. Dibya’s mother Manorama said she feeds the kid half-a-litre of milk with Horlicks, two boiled eggs and 50 gm green gram after his rigorous practice session. The three-hour run in the morning rejuvenates the child who then goes to attend classes at the local anganwadi centre.

Retired teacher and homeopathy practitioner Dhruba Charan Sahoo says Dibya was weak till the age of two as he suffers from Asthma. “I provided free medicines and tonic to improve his health condition and now he can run 25-30 km daily,” he said. The locals said the Government must provide assistance, including proper coaching and guidance, to the kid so that he can excel in running. District Sports Officer Biswabijayini Pattnaik said she does not have information on the boy. She said  running 30 km a day would put pressure on boy’s health.

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