NEW DELHI: 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 was set by Krishna Poonia in 2012.
Kamalpreet’s throw was also better than that of veteran discus thrower and 2014 Asian Games gold medallist Seema Punia, who finished second, with a distance of 62.64m.
Here’s a look at Kamalpreet’s 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 in 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 the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019, she finished fifth.
First Indian to breach the 65m barrier
Kamalpreet made history at the Federation Cup 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.
Kamalpreet looks at Seema Punia as one of her idols. She currently trains under Baljeet Singh.