Teamwork : It Precedes Success
They all held hands in hands each of them had almost same expressions.
If till now Shruti had any doubts about the entire team wanting Piu to win, it was all eliminated.
If there were any noises, they were of crowds cheering or coaches talking as they discuss about the timings.
It was after the time trial race. All the kids including Piu and Simi had finished the race.
This was the first time that Shruti closely observed the pattern of the race.
Time trial race is an event in which a skater runs on the rink alone individually and there are four referees or coaches who start their stop watch once the skater takes his first step from the start line and stops when his/her first step crosses the finishing line.
After that the average timings from four different watches is calculated and noted down after the name of each player.
Later when each and every participant finishes the results are declared and by now they have only declared timings for the second runner up.
Which was approximately 1:35:02
The first runner up’s timing was announced to be 59:79 and the name announced was Simi.
“Oh shit” murmured Dev, Simi’s dad.
Out of the cheers of all the team mates it took a long time and a hug from Rita and Lina for Shruti to realise that Piu actually won the race.
Govind came smiling as he murmured 57:95, Piu won Shruti, you won.
Shruti did not miss his glassy eyes and the euphoria of the victory.
Shruti couldn’t help crying, moments ago she was so negative that Piu would never be able to make it when Piu stood on the start line with six other girls.
The referee clapped and the girls took a fast start, Piu who was all set and prepared for a time trial was confused and started last finishing second position after Simi.
“It’s all over sir, Piu wouldn’t ever be able to overtake Simi. Why was time trial changed to speed race?” She kept on rambling asking Sabu sir questions that she didn’t intend to receive answers. She was just too upset, her efforts were a waste.
“it’s all over” she finished her rambling.
“Relax ma’am” Sabu sir finally managed to speak as he clarified “this was only a demo race organized for the chief guest. We have a time trial to be followed, actual race that counts.”
Shruti tried to relax but the vents of the race had negated her as she said “But I guess I saw the future speed race here. Piu won’t ever win against Simi.”
“Perhaps I trust my student more than you trust your daughter. Time will tell.” He finished with a determined note as he walked back to his crew of students doing the essentials before the race.
Shruti smiled wholeheartedly “Your trust indeed was s strong one.”
Proud of his student Sabu sir simply patted at his student “Well done Piu”
Innocent Piu asked mom “Did I really win.”
Rita pulled her into her arms as she congratulated Piu “You did and now you’ll win all the races.”
“Yes I will” Piu answered apprehensively.
“I will take from here” Irfan sir said as he lifted Piu who was sitting on a chair and Shruti was working on her laces trying to tie it tight, just like Piu liked but failing.
The rink was silent for a while as the Boys under six were on the start line and waiting for a clap to start the race. Soon the bentrack would be surrounded by parents, supporters and coaches who would cheer for their favorite skaters.
Sabu sir, Govind and David sir were busy planning their respective positions to cheer Piu. They’d cover all the corners and shout that would help Piu and energise her increasing her speed.
“knees bent, swing your hands and stride fast” this is what Shruti assumed Irfan sir was telling Piu as he escorted her personally to the start line.
Under normal circumstances kids would reach the start line alone and coaches would follow them.
I guess things were a bit heated up at the moment and especially match was crucial one. The reputation of the 10 year old university of Sabu sir depended on the race and it’s result.
The very reason that Simi’s parents announced for leaving the university was the rink where Sabu sir trained wasn’t appropriate for results and D’silva sir had perfect infrastructure for the sport.
Sabu sir wanted to prove that he can get results with his hard work and dedicated training with the minimum infrastructure that he was blessed with.
As usual Piu missed the start for a micro second or Simi is a super smart in start and Simi took a lead of almost three steps in the first lap.
The second lap was better for Piu with the heart beats of all the associates of Ace’s tennis academy when Piu was almost a step or lesser behind Simi and was trying tad hard to overtake her but would miss every time they reach the turnings as Simi had a strong command in cross steps that was needed during turns.
By the end of the second lap and start of final and third lap, Piu did something that Shruti couldn’t decipher.
She changed her style of strides making Shruti wonder what’s gotten into her, this might have distracted Simi too who for a fraction of second slowed down or you can say Piu picked up. Piu was ahead of Simi now.
Soon Piu fastened her strides as Sabu sir shouted “Increase the lead, SPEED up” and Piu finished with a lead of almost quarter lap.
Piu had won.
While the entire academy cheered and danced at the victory, Sabu sir was quiet and immediately left for the accommodation he was staying. He did not want to celebrate once he was sure that the third gold from road race was also coming home.
“So you need not worry” Anu, Simi’s mom said in a tone that wasn’t mocking but neither friendly” Piu already has a championship trophy in her bag.”
Shruti tried to smile and not shrug at the snide remark.
If Shruti was tensed about the road race ahead, Anu was sure that with the amount of hours they’d given to the road practice session, Simi would surely make it to the golds in the race next morning.
Shruti kissed Piu and sent her with her bag to Sabu sir where the three coaches were taking a warm up session for all the participants.
“Hey Piu can you taking your bag of skates along and ask Daddy to keep it in the boot of the car? Then I only have to worry about your water and Gatorade.” Shruti shouted from the wash room.
She let Piu and Govind get ready first and do their chores and then she’d worry about herself.
Thrilled, excited and confident Piu, Shruti , Govind and other faculty of the academy reached the venue of road race which was more or less similar like last time but this time the tension was so thick that one could cut it with a knife.
‘There’s no need to stress, it’s better to put in our efforts, the best and leave the rest’ Shruti thought.
“Come Piu I’ll help you with the skates” Shruti said as Sabu sir was busy cheering for other skaters of the academy as each one had bagged some medals, either gold, silver or bronze till now. Even the newly joined Samrat was amazing enough to bag a bronze in the road race.
So everybody in the group was excited.
“See the start of the day was good with Surabhi winning a gold and now Samrat, Piu is sure to bag a gold.” Rita cooed as she encouraged Piu with her pep talks.
“Piu where are your skates?” Shruti panicked but tried not to show much in her voice.
“I don’t know” Piu replied as she pouted trying to jump to check if it was in the boot.
“You gave it to daddy before going to Sabu sir?” Shruti asked calmly while her insides were all freaking out.
“I do not rememeber.” Piu replied, her voice as if she’d give up any moment.
Shruti knew not to Stress Piu before the match “Okay you wait with Surabhi. I’ll go and ask daddy. Probably he’s working on the wheels.” Shruti lied. There was no chance that Govind would work on the wheels. He’d already cleaned the bearings, changed into road wheels, checked the strength of the laces. He said it was perfect and ready for the race.
Shruti approached Govind who could easily read her face and noticed the lines of worry.
They were in trouble…..
Without proper equipments how’d Piu win?....