With a jaunty victory dance, 101-year-old Man Kaur celebrated winning the 100 metres sprint at the World Masters Games in Auckland on Monday, the 17th gold medal in the Indian athlete’s remarkable, late-blooming career.
Kaur clocked one minute 14 seconds as a small crowd cheered her on.
In truth, her dash became more of a gentle amble the closer the diminutive centenarian came to the finish line, with more energy spent beaming at spectators than running.
But Kaur was guaranteed victory as the only participant in the 100-years-and-over category at the New Zealand event, which has attracted 25,000 competitors. Participation, not racing the clock, is the priority for Ms. Kaur, who has been dubbed the “miracle from Chandigarh” by the media in New Zealand. “I enjoyed it and am very, very happy,” the centenarian told reporters via a Punjabi interpreter. “I’m going to run again, I’m not going to give up. I will participate, there’s no full stop.”
Ms. Kaur took up athletics only eight years ago, at the tender age of 93. She had no prior sporting experience before her son Gurdev Singh suggested she join him in competing on the International Masters Games circuit.
After a medical check-up, she was given the all-clear and since then mother and son have taken part in dozens of Masters athletics meets around the globe.
The centenarian already has a swag of gold medals that would rival Michael Phelps’ haul and also plans to compete in the 200m sprint, two-kilogramme shot put and 400 gram javelin in Auckland, taking her medal tally to 20.(Agencies)