Santhi Soundarajan is a former Indian athlete who contended in the middle distance track events. She was born in April, 1981 in Kathakkurichi village, in Pudukkottai
District of the state of Tamil Nadu
. She was a versatile athlete in school, competing in field hockey, middle-distance running and javelin. In 2004, 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.
Her silver medal, which Soundarajan won at the 2006 Asian Games, was taken back after failing a Gender Verification Test, disputing her eligibility to participate in the women`s competition.
Career of Santhi Soundarajan
Santhi Soundarajan holds the national record for the women`s 3000 m steeplechase clocking 10:44.65 seconds. She won the 800m, 1,500 m and 3000 m at a national meet in Bengaluru
in July 2005. At the Asian Championships in Incheon, South Korea in the year 2005, Soundarajan won the silver medal in 800m. At the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, Soundarajan won a silver medal in the women`s 800m race, clocking 2 minutes, 3.16 seconds. After this, she had to take a Gender Test, the outcome of which revealed that she did not have the sexual characteristics of a woman. Eventually her silver medal was taken way. Santhi Soundarajan allegedly attempted suicide by consuming a drug, due to problems related to gender biasness and economic pressure.
Santhi Soundarajan later started a training institute in Pudukkottai and was appointed as an athletics coach by the regional government. Her students have won 1st and 3rd positions in the Chennai
Honours of Santhi Soundarajan
In 2006, M Karunanidhi
, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, presented Santhi Soundarajan with a prize amount of Rs. 15 lakhs and a televtelevision set, in recognition for her efforts at the Doha Games.
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