New Delhi, July 22 (ANI): Indian army's Major Surendra Poonia, a medical officer in the President's Body Guards, became the first Indian to participate and win three medals at the 31st World Medical and Health Games held in Porec, Croatia.
Poonia has been an athlete since his college days and graduated from the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune before joining the elite Special Force- the paratroopers in the Indian army, with whom he has served in Kashmir. He was also a member of United Nations peacekeeping force in Congo.
"Even in collage I used to practice every day after my classes. I won medals in 10,000 meters, 5000 meters and cross-country at the university. I was a member of the Pune university team. I broke almost all running records set about 37 year ago in my collage," said Poonia.
Major Poonia also won silver in the discus throw and a bronze in the javelin competition, besides a gold in the power-lifting event.
Being the lone Indian representative at an international event, Poonia could not escape the pre-competition jitters, but an army man to the core he said he overcame his nervousness due to his Army training that teaches soldiers to overcome any difficulty.
"When I was standing alone at the opening ceremony I was amazed as I thought I came to such a big event alone, all by myself. But then, I am military person and I knew I can do it," said Poonia. (ANI)