Athens: Indian heptathlete J J Shobha has been earning praise from all quarters for braving excruciating pain and continuing with her events in true Olympic spirit. Sports Minister's Sunil Dutt hailed her as the example of courage and dedication after she finished 11th in the gruelling women's heptathlon despite a ligament injury. The 26-year-old lay stretched out in excruciating pain after tearing her knee ligament in the javelin event, but surprised Olympic officials by getting to the 800 meters starting block. Shobha now says she took at the risk of probably never walking again. "I would have done well in the 800m event had I not been injured," she said. Success story Shobha's success story started at home in Hyderabad, with a gold at the Afro-Asian Games in 2003 and then a national record at the 10th Federation Cup Championships. Ironically, the chink in Shobha's performance had been javelin throw. "However well I performed in the National Games, I couldn't here. I thought maybe could perform well in the javelin throw, but I couldn't because of my injury," Shobha lamented. Indian officials insist given the right conditions and time, Shobha could match international stars like this year's winner Caroline Kluft. Some may call it wishful thinking after the dismal performance by the Indian contingent at Athens, but Shobha's grit and determination seem to be at least one silver lining to the dark cloud surrounding Indian sport.