With every vault, 20-year-old Maria Jaison, a BA Economics student at Jain (Deemed-to-be University) is scripting her name in the national pole vault annals. She recently broke the All India Inter-University women’s pole vault record justifying the marker as a huge prospect in track and field championships this season. A vault of 3.65 meters saw her erase the 3.40 meters height set by Kyathi Vakharia to add to her bludgeoning accolades.
The champion sportsperson bagged gold and had set national records at the National School Games in 2013, 2015 and 2016. She also took the runners-up spot at the Asian School Meet held in Malaysia in 2013.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Maria now aims at representing India in the international track and field events. When not attending to her lectures, she trains at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru (SAI) under the watch of her personal trainer Robert George.
It is all the more remarkable considering that the athlete who hails from a small town in the state of Kerala was not long ago seeking her fortunes in long jump, before shifting her attention to pole vault.
Rising from a humble farming family with virtually no known sporting support, she has soared against all odds to reach where she stands today and looks back at the challenges she has faced as the spur to move even higher. She also recalls the hardships faced by her father who had to stretch their limited earnings to get her a basic kit.
“My success would be the best reward I can give them,” she says. Maria, who hopes to vault high, is determined to advance her career goals. “My aim is to be the best in what I do,” she adds.