At the age of 100, Man Kaur has become the oldest female competitor at the Vancouver Senior Games.
Who thinks of competitive running at the age of 100, and that too when one is a great grandmother? But Man Kaur has defied all the limitations that age and gender can impose to become the senior most female competitor ever at the Vancouver Senior Games. She made the 100 metre dash with single-minded determination and hit the finish line, clocking in just over a minute.
Though the other participants, who are several years younger, were running past her, Man Kaur was cheered by the crowd with awe and respect.
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Man Kaur became a runner at the age of 93, when she was already a great grandmother. Never before had she competed in sports or received any training in sports. It was her son Gurudev Singh who encouraged her to take up running. Gurudev, 78 years old, is a runner himself and has participated in various international competitions in the seniors category. It was in 2011 that it struck him that his mother could be a runner too. Gurudev says, “When I came back home after participating in senior games and seeing elderly sportspersons from other countries, I thought my mother could participate too. My mother has always been a healthy, physically fit and energetic woman. When I told her this, she cheerfully accepted the new challenge and we soon hit the tracks to train.”
In the same year, 2011, Man Kaur participated in the National Masters Athletics Championship held in Chandigarh and represented India in the World Masters Athletics Championship at Sacramento. She took part in the 95+ category and won two gold medals in Sacramento. She created two new world records in her age category and was also declared Athlete of the Year. And ever since, she has been participating in various national and international competitions.
Man Kaur has won 5 gold medals in 100, 200, 400 metre races, shotput and javelin throw.
Photo credit: cbc.ca
Gurudev says, “No insurance company has had the grit to offer my mother insurance coverage. But both my mother and I are spirited enough to travel several miles to participate in these competitions. So much so that we spend from our own pockets to participate in these games.”
Man Kaur trains at the tracks every day and also does weight training. She eats simple home cooked food and lives with her daughter in Chandigarh.
You can write to Gurudev Singh at firstname.lastname@example.org