Recently, Kamalpreet Kaur, athlete and discus thrower, managed to qualify for the finals in the ongoing Olympic Games at Tokyo.
25-year-old Kamalpreet became the first Indian to throw the discus a distance of 64m. She did it in her third and final attempt. After Krishna Poonia, she is only the second Indian woman to reach the discus throw final at the Olympics.
Kamalpreet Kaur has qualified for Women’s Discus Throw finals at #Tokyo2020
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— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) July 31, 2021
While Kamalpreet is making her debut at the Olympics, she has already breached the 65.06m mark at the Athletics Federation Cup and set a new national record. This made her qualify for the Olympics too.
While many of us are applauding her successful debut, her journey has been anything but easy.
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
Kamalpreet Kaur: Journey from a village in Punjab to Olympics
Belonging to a small village in Punjab, Kamalpreet scored 33 marks each in Maths and English in class 8. While there was a slight improvement in the class X boards, that wasn’t enough to inspire her to be excited about her studies.
Not being 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 🔥🔥
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— #Tokyo2020 for India (@Tokyo2020hi) July 31, 2021
Initially, she trained in shot put but. Later when her coach Preethpal Maru, suggested and motivated her – she switched to discus throw! Kamalpreet may have initially chosen to pursue a career in sports only to run away from marriage. But, after winning a bronze in the junior nationals at Bangalore in 2013, she became serious.
“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.”
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
Because of pandemic, she did not have access to proper training techniques. But this did not stop her from training. Sharing her inspiring story with 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.”
At IFORHER, we are rooting for her and looking forward to her performance in the finals. We want to let her know, whatever may be the result, she has already won our hearts and made us proud.