Kamalpreet Kaur, athlete and discus thrower, qualified for the finals in the ongoing Tokyo Games.
The 25-year-old threw discus to a distance of 64m in her third and final attempt and became the first Indian to touch the mark. She is only the second Indian woman to reach the discus throw final at the Olympics, after Krishna Poonia in 2012.
Kamalpreet Kaur has qualified for Women’s Discus Throw finals at #Tokyo2020— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) July 31, 2021
India has never won an Olympic Medal in Athletics. All our athletes are trying their best. But I’m looking for history from 3 Athletes. Watch out for #KamalpreetKaur on 2nd August. #Cheer4India 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/V6LY4OXNVw
When Kamalpreet Kaur qualified for the Olympics, she breached the 65.06m mark at the Athletics Federation Cup and set a new national record. This is her debut at the Olympics.
But success doesn’t come easy and it wasn’t easy for Kamalpreet too.
A young girl from Badal village in Sri Muktsar Sahib district in Punjab is disinterested in studies & decides to opt for sports. Her coach was a discus thrower & so she decided to become one as well.— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) July 31, 2021
Less than a decade later Kamalpreet Kaur will be competing in an Olympic final! pic.twitter.com/lROBguwJUn
Belonging to a village in Punjab, Kamalpreet scored 33 marks each in Math and English in class 8. There was a slight improvement in the class X boards but that wasn’t enought to get her anywhere in academics.
Not really good at academics, she turned to sports to avoid marriage
I knew that if I don’t do well at studies and am not able to make it to a good college, my fate would be the same. However, I was determined not to meet that fate. I wanted to do something different. So I thought sports will be my ticket to a job and avoiding marriage.
There goes #IND‘s first #Athletics finalist at #Tokyo2020 🔥🔥— #Tokyo2020 for India (@Tokyo2020hi) July 31, 2021
After a slow start with a throw of 60.29m, Kamalpreet Kaur pulled out a monster throw of 64m in her third attempt to qualify for the final of women’s discus throw event! 👏#StrongerTogether | #UnitedByEmotion pic.twitter.com/BwO8cIMgF4
She trained in shot put to start with and switched to discus throw only when the coach at the Sports Authority of India, Preethpal Maru, suggested and motivated her.
The girl who chose to pursue a career in sports only to run away from marriage, became serious after winning a bronze in the junior nationals at Bangalore in 2013.
People were clicking selfies with me. It just struck me that if this is the attention I am getting with this medal, what will happen if I get to represent India.
Amid the pandemic, she did not have access to proper training techniques. But this did not stop her from training. Speaking to the Indian Express, she said:
I used the double bed at home as weights. The bed is filled with clothes so I used it for my deadlift exercises. I used the flower pots at home as dumbbells. I did all the exercises I could at home and ran in the fields.
Rio 2016 & London 2012 gold medalist threw 63.75m as her best. #KamalpreetKaur, in her Olympic debut threw 64m.— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) July 31, 2021
Awesome performance. Waiting for Aug 2nd with a lot of excitement and hope #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/UfvKt7xnOn
The nation is looking forward to her performance in the finals on 2nd August. Whatever the result is, she has already done us immense proud.