account_circle Anita Natu 06-Mar-2023 chat_bubble 0 Comments person_add 0 Shares

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account_circle Anita Natu 06-Mar-2023

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Indian Women Athletes, at 90+ Win Gold!

For these 90+ women, neither age nor sex is a bar - they have been winning medals in the World Masters Athletics Championships meant for older athletes aged 35 and above. 

Man Kaur at age 100, an Indian track-and-field athlete became the fastest centenarian at the American Masters Games in 2016. She began to pursue athletics when she was 93. In the 2017 games, held in Auckland, New Zealand she completed the 100m sprint in 74 seconds.

She competed in Poland in 2019 and won in four events - shot put, 60m sprint, 200m and the javelin. She ran the 60m race in 36 seconds and "felt great" afterwards. She and her son were invited to tour universities in Baru Sahib where they inspired students, speaking about their achievements and their diet. Her food included nuts and pulses, home grown soy milk, kefir, wheatgrass juice, and sprouted wheat which made into chapatis.

Man Kaur at age 103, won gold in the 200m race and shot put at the December 2019 Asian Masters Championship in Malaysia. On International Women's Day, 2020 she was awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar by the President of India. She was nicknamed the "Miracle from Chandigarh". Man Kaur died on 31 July 2021, at the age of 105, from gallbladder cancer.

94-year-old Bhagwani Devi Dagar, won three medals for India, including a gold at the World Master Athletics Championship in 2022. She also created a national record by completing the 100m race in 24.74 seconds. She first picked up 'shot-put', at the age of 94, and won three gold medals for Delhi, three gold in Chennai for national, and one gold and two bronze in World Master Athletics in Finland.

On a personal level, Bhagwani Devi has been through several downturns - her husband died at the age of 29, when she was pregnant with their son. Four years later, her elder daughter died at the age of 11. Bhagwani Devi has fought illness and has undergone a bypass surgery. However, she hopes to win more medals at the next Masters Championships in 2023!

Rambai at age 105 set a new national record in 100m at the National Masters Championships, when she completed the 100m race in 45.40 seconds, winning gold in Vadodara. The earlier record set by Man Kaur, who had won her race in 74 seconds was cut by Rambai by almost 30 seconds. She went on to win another gold medal, when she won the 200m race, finishing with a time of 1 minute and 52.17 seconds.

-        Edited & compiled by Anita Natu