Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur is one of India's star athletes, who booked her place at the Olympics in style. The youngster from Punjab has been performing phenomenally on the national circuit and will be hoping to make a dream debut at the Tokyo Olympics by finishing on the podium.
On that note, here are a few things you possibly didn't know about Kamalpreet Kaur.
#1 Kamalpreet Kaur switched to athletics in 2012
Kamalpreet Kaur was never interested in studies and didn't score good marks in her exams. It was her physical education teacher who forced her to give it a shot at athletics, and that paid off really well for her, as she came fourth in her very first state meet.
While talking to Indian Express about her initial days, Kaur said:
"I was really bad at studies. There was a state meet and my coach took me there. I think I finished fourth there and everyone there told me I had a good physique. Then I thought, 'Let's give sports a try as I am not that great at studies.' My coach used to train athletes in discus throw, so I took up the sport."
#2 Kamalpreet Kaur's impressive record at junior level
Having taken up the sport seriously in 2014, Kamalpreet Kaur started racking up medals in the junior category. She was a national champion in the Under-18 and Under-20 categories. Kaur took her game up a notch and worked hard on her throws, which helped her secure a sixth place at the 29th World University Games.
#3 Kamalpreet Kaur broke a 12-year-old national record
The sensational athlete proved her mettle at the national level as she defeated Asian Games gold medalist Seema Punia in the discus throw event. While doing so, she also broke a national record set by Punia in 2009, as she completed a 65.06-meter throw at the 24th National Federation Cup to book her spot in the Olympics.
Kaur broke her own record at the Indian Grand Prix 4 after a stunning 66.59-meter throw in her fifth attempt. Kamalpreet is the first Indian to breach the 65-meter mark. Her national record of 66.59 meters would have helped her secure a bronze in Rio, and she will be hoping to outdo this performance in Tokyo and help India win its first medal in athletics.
#4 Controversy surrounding Kamalpreet Kaur's record throw
After breaking Seema Punia's national record and then improving her own record, Kaur found herself embroiled in controversy. Asian Games gold medalist Seema Punia raised a question over her sudden improvement and wrote to AFI, demanding a hyperandrogenism test of the athlete after her sudden improvement.
While speaking about this to The Times of India, Kaur said:
"I am disturbed mentally. There are no such rules and players who have qualified for the Olympics are tested every 15 days for dope-related offenses. My focus is only on my training and winning a medal in Tokyo."
#5 Kamalpreet Kaur's unique training style during the pandemic
Staying fit during the pandemic was a big challenge for Kamalpreet, but she did her bit by using the double bed at home as equipment to do a deadlift. She also lifted flower pots as a dumbbell and kept training hard to book a place in the Olympics, which she successfully did after breaking the national record.