Santhi Soundarajan of India, left, is awarded a silver medal in the Women's m event during the 15th Asian Games Doha in Qatar. Santhi Soundarajan has a message for Caster Semenya, the South African track star whose gender has sparked an international athletics row : "She should not abandon the fight. Like Semenya, Soundarajan, 28, comes from extremely modest beginnings. Born in the village of Kathakkurichi to brick-kiln workers in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, she was a versatile athlete in school, competing in field hockey, middle-distance running and javelin. In , an engineering college in Chennai, the state's biggest city, recruited Soundarajan with a scholarship to study computer technology. She was soon the college's star performer, setting an Indian record for the women's 3,m steeplechase.
Four years after she was forced out of the Asian Games in a row over her gender, Indian sprinter Dutee Chand said she was determined to make up for lost time as she finally gets her chance in Indonesia. Chand, affected by the same condition, hyperandrogenism, which has dogged the career of double Olympic champion Caster Semenya, fought and won a lengthy court battle to remain in the sport she loves. Now the year-old is hoping for a redemptive medal at her long-delayed Asian Games debut in Jakarta, where she also has her eye on lowering India's m record for the second time in two months. I missed the Asian Games due to the hyperandrogenism row, so it's my chance to prove my worth," Chand, whose hero is Usain Bolt, told AFP after a training session in Hyderabad.
She is the winner of 12 international medals for India and around 50 medals for her home state of Tamil Nadu. Shanthi Soundarajan is the first Tamil woman to win a medal at the Asian Games. She was stripped of a silver medal won at the Asian Games after failing a sex verification test which disputed her eligibility to participate in the women's competition.
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