New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) Kamalpreet Kaur booked her ticket for the Tokyo Olympic Games after she sent the discus to 65.06 metres in her first and only legal throw at the 24th Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships held in Patiala.
Kamalpreet set a new national record and breached the Olympic qualification mark of 63.50m in the process. The previous record of 64.76 set by Krishna Poonia in 2012.
Kamalpreet’s throw also bettered that of veteran discus thrower and 2014 Asian Games gold medallist Seema Punia, who finished second, with a throw of 62.64m.
So who is Kamalpreet? Here’s a look at her journey and achievements so far.
Early days and introduction to the sport:
Kamalpreet comes from Badal village in the Sri Muktsar Sahib district of Punjab, according to Olympic Channel. As a child, she was not interested academics. On the insistence of her physical education coach, she took up athletics in 2012. She finished fourth at her first state meet.
Kamalpreet started taking the sport seriously in 2014 and her initial training began at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in her village. Her rigorous practice and natural ability soon began to yield results as she became the under-18 and under-20 national champion in 2016. In 2017, she finished sixth at the 29th World University Games.
At Asian Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019, she finished fifth.
First Indian to breach the 65m barrier:
Kamalpreet made history at the 24th Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships as she became the first Indian woman to breach the 65m barrier in discus throw. Remarkably, it was the second time in a row that she had finished at the top of the podium. She had clinched the gold in the 2019 edition with a throw of 60.25m.
Kamalpreet is employed as a clerk with the Indian Railways and represents them in National meets. Before representing her team at the 24th Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships she couldn’t sleep for three nights due to nervousness and excitement.
Kamalpreet looks at Seema Punia as one of her idols. She currently trains under Baljeet Singh, who believes, his ward has the potential to breach the 68m mark in near future. He, however, is concerned about the foul throws and wants to iron out her flaws ahead of Tokyo 2020.