For some people, making India proud even at the age of 103 is a great sense of accomplishment. Let’s take a moment to appreciate Biji Mann Kaur for her will to do things at an age where people would spend time on the bed. Hailing from Patiala in Punjab, the female athlete had won gold for India in the shot put event at the World Masters Athletics Championship held in Torun, Poland.
In case you don’t know about the World Masters Athletics Championships, it is an Olympic version of events organised for the senior citizens. The championship has some events like track and field, across the country as well as road running events for athletes above the age of 35 years.
The 103-year-old won the medal with a best effort of 2.13 metres. “I want to win more. I feel very happy after winning. The government has not given me anything, but it doesn’t matter as I just want to win, because winning gives me happiness,” Kaur told TOI over the phone from Torun.
Man Kaur’s has plans in place to break the world record, which is 2.77m, a record which was set by America’s Julia Hockings in 2017. “I want to set the new world record in future,” said Kaur.
Previously, Maan Kaur did India proud by winning the 200m race in the 100-104 age group category not once but for the second time. She won the gold by winning the race in just 3 minutes and 14.65 seconds.
Not just that, she had finished first in the 100 m race at the 2017 Masters in Auckland at an impressive track record of one minute and fourteen seconds. She has also become the oldest women athlete in India to clinch this title. Before to her international debut, she won her first medal at the Chandigarh Masters Athletic Meet in 2007. She has proved that age is just a number!
Who is her motivation?
Her 79-year-old son Guru Dev Singh backed his mother at the age of 93 to take up the sport whole-heartedly. Guru Dev Singh is also an active participant in the World Masters. Initially, Gurudev ensured that his mother was physically fit to participate for the international event, according to The Better India.
Popularly known as the ‘Miracle from Chandigarh’, it isn’t her first gold at the world championships. Mann Kaur hogged the limelight when she won gold at the World Master Championships in the USA in 2011 in the 100m and 200m event respectively, as reported by The Indian Express.
Apart from running race events, Mann also engaged in the javelin throw and shot put at the 2017 World Masters Games. Mann’s ambition is quite clear. She has set her eyes on the World Masters 2020, which will be held in Japan.
“It’s all about what you eat. Your body and mind become what you feed it. Eating well not only affects your physical form, it affects your thoughts and actions too. In the old days, people used to be calmer, more patient. Why? Because the diet we ate was much simpler and healthier.
People nowadays eat a lot of processed food which is, more often than not, unhealthy. That reflects in their physical health as well as their temperaments – they are angry, agitated, tense and stressed all the time,” says Gurdev Singh, her son
“People my age ask me ‘Why are you doing this? Is this your age to run? You’ll get hurt.’ They don’t like it that I run, but I do it because it makes me happy,” added.