Millennium Post

96 and still running strong

96 and still running strong
Mann Kaur, truly epitomises the maxim—age is just a number. At the age of 96, she has defied all physical barriers and achieved the incredible title of an athlete. Her feat — completing 100 meters in just 1 minute and 7 seconds.

Kaur, who hails from Chandigarh, has raced her way to glory in many championships with training from her son Gurdev Singh. ‘In 2008, I went to Canada for the World Masters Championship where I saw a participant named Olga who was 90-years-old. It was then that I convinced my mother to take up athletics as I knew her fitness levels,’ said Gurdev Singh.

Mann, during her initial years, was denied any formal education and got married at the age of 20. She was further led to domestication by her family. Her long indulgence in household chores instilled enough stamina and strength to take up running as a sport in later years. ‘My mother was employed with the Maharaja of Patiala to take care of his queens. She took care of their personal being during the pre-Independence era,’ said Gurudev.

Felicitated as the ‘golden girl of India’, Kaur has won two gold medals in the World Masters Athletics 2011 held in US by Masters Federation of India.

Her other recent achievements include a gold medal each in 100m and 200m in the World Masters Athletic Championship held in Sacramento, California in July. Together with her son, Kaur is now gearing up to participate in this year’s Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on 30 September.

‘Her daily training routine starts at 4 pm in the evening followed by a warm up. Then she sprints 30 meters twice or thrice with some stretching exercises to end with,’ said Gurudev.

‘I feel privileged to have represented India at the World Masters Athletic Championship. This year, my son and I are participating in the Delhi Half Marathon for the first time ever and I am really excited. It’s a message for all the people around — Have Feet, Will Run, Have Will, Will Triumph!’ Kaur pointed out. She is now eying the Taiwan Asian Master Championship to be held in November.
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