The 25-year-old discus thrower automatically qualified for the finals when she sent the discus to a distance of 64m in the qualification group B. Kaur achieved this feat in her third and final attempt. She had thrown the discus to a distance of 60.29m and 63.97m in her first and second attempt respectively. The other athlete to make it to the finals alongside Singh is USA’s Valarie Allman with a distance of 66.42m.
With a distance of 64m, Kaur finished ahead of two heavyweights in discus throw. Croatian athlete and defending gold medallist Sandra Perkovic came third with 63.75 m, while Cuba’s Yaime Perez, the reigning world champion finished seventh with 63.18m.
Another Indian athlete and Kaur’s idol Seema Punia failed to reserve a spot for herself in the finals. The four-time Olympian and veteran discus thrower finished 6th in Group A with 60.57m.
Kaur hails from Patiala in Punjab and has represented India for the first time. Kaur has managed to cross the 65m mark in discus throw twice this year, thus raising India’s hope for a medal in Tokyo.
Kaur’s tryst with the game began in school. Her physical education teacher had spotted her potential and persuaded her to participate in a state-level competition when she was in Class 10. She finished fourth in that game and couldn’t score a medal. But that single game was enough to ignite a spark in her. Her intense hard work and determination has brought her to the biggest stage of sports in the world.
Her father Kuldeep, a farmer in Punjab’s Sri Muktsar Sahib district, had to sell his farms to fund his daughter’s training. While speaking to Indian Express, he said when his daughter said she wanted to pursue the game, he first checked if the Sports Authority of India would let her in. She was sent to a private training facility that charged Rs 1 lakh for which Kuldeep had to sell his land.
Kuldeep added that while other kids wore branded clothes and shoes specifically designed for the sport, he couldn’t afford them for his daughter and she trained in normal canvas shoes.
In March, she became the first Indian discus thrower to breach the 65 with her phenomenal performance in the Federation Cup. She achieved this feat with her throw of 65.06m which shattered the Indian record and carved a new now one in her name.
She raised the stakes and gave an exceedingly stellar performance in June where she broke her own record. With a throw of 66.59m in the Indian Grand Prix-4, Kaur took her own game to a whole new level. Now all of India’s hopes are pinned on Kaur as she readies her self-for the final to be held the day after tomorrow.
As Kaur prepares to give her best shot at the finals of women’s discus throw, Seema Punia got knocked out from her last Olympic appearance. Punia fouled her first throw and threw the discus to a distance of 60.57m and 58.93 m respectively in her subsequent attempts. They couldn’t help her qualify.