Tribune News Service
Dera Bassi, July 31
Mann Kaur, the veteran athlete who defied age to set several world record in the 100-plus age category and inspired the society with her feats, breathed her last here on Saturday.
She was 105 years old.
The veteran athelete, was diagnosed with gall bladder and liver cancer in February. She was admitted to Shuddhi Ayurveda Panchkarma Hospital at Devi Nagar village.
Kaur, who first took up athletics at the age of 93 after seeing his son Gurdev Singh participate in Masters Athletics, was a true embodiement of Punjabi never-say-die spirit. Popular among masses for her zeal to keep running at this age, she vowed fitness freaks like Milind Soman and became an automatic choice as ambassador for many fitness-related events.
Frequently asked what keeps her going at this age, Mann Kaur, born on March 1, 1916, reply used to be, ''I love running. I think I am doing fine, why stop?''
At an age when mortal humans are content to keep in the cozy confines of home, the Patiala-born athlete challenged her limits with sprints, shot put and javellin, achieving astonishing feats.
In 2017, the centenarian made a 100-metre dash in a jaw-dropping 74 seconds at the World Masters Games in Auckland.
In 2019, Kaur, aged 103, finished the 200m dash at 3:01.61 at the Asian Masters Championship in Malaysia. In the same meet, she hurled the shot put at 2.21m.
During the World Masters Athletics Championships in Poland in 2019, she won four events -- shot put, 60m sprint, 200m and javelin throw -- in her age category.
Face of ‘Fit India Movement’
Mann Kaur started athletics at the age of 93 and received the Nari Shakti Puraskar from the President of India at the age of 103.
In 2016, she was declared the fastest centenarian at a competition in the American Masters Games.
Mann and her son Gurdev Singh were among the prominent personalities of the ‘Fit India Movement’.
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