Asian Games: Punjab girl Parneet Kaur is the ‘silent warrior’ in the gold winning archery compound team : The Tribune India

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Asian Games: Punjab girl Parneet Kaur is the ‘silent warrior’ in the gold winning archery compound team

A meritorious student who always loved English literature, Parneet took to sport on the insistence of her father Avtar Singh

Asian Games: Punjab girl Parneet Kaur is the ‘silent warrior’ in the gold winning archery compound team

India’s Parneet Kaur of women’s compound team poses for a photo after winning a gold medal in Archery at the ongoing Asian Games 2023, in Hangzhou on Thursday. ANI Photo



New Delhi, October 5

Parneet Kaur's favourite book is Milkha Singh's autobiography -- The Race of My Life. As the title suggests, the soft-spoken, bespectacled 18-year-old produced an effort of a lifetime, emerging as the silent warrior in Indian women compound team's stunning gold medal victory at the Asian Games here on Thursday.

Two months ago, Parneet, who then had a lowly qualifying rank of 26, was the third member of the women's compound team that secured a maiden World Championship crown in Berlin.

At Hangzhou, Parneet was again the 'weakest link.' At the continental showpiece, she qualified as the third member of the compound team with a 12th rank, and the stars of the side were understandably veteran Jyoti Surekha Vennam and reigning world champion Aditi Swami.

However, when Jyothi and Aditi faltered with the rounds of 75 and 78 in the semifinal, Parneet carried the Indian team on her young shoulders, firing all 10s to make it 80 out of a possible 80.

It proved to be the turning point in what transpired to a lopsided 219-233 win over Indonesia.

Surinder Singh Randhawa, Parneet's childhood coach at Punjabi University Patiala, was not even one bit surprised.

"She has always been low-profile -- the silent warrior in India's team events," Randhawa told PTI.

"You can check the records... We have not won any in the first and second World Cups this year. It was only after she got in, we won the World Cup and World Championships team medals," Randhawa, who has been coaching her since 2016, added.

Indian women's team won their first medal since 2018 when they bagged a bronze at Stage 3 in Medellin.

Since then, they have bagged back-to-back team gold in World Cup and World Championships.

"She always excels when she plays in the team, now we have to work on her individual shooting skills so that she also can come in the spotlight," he said.

A meritorious student who always loved English literature, Parneet took to sport on the insistence of her father Avtar Singh.

A primary school teacher in Mansa, Avtar took a transfer to Patiala so that an 11-year-old could take up either “fencing or archery”.

"I am always fond of sport and wanted my child to try her hands both in sport and studies so I moved to Patiala," Avtar told PTI.

"Fencing and archery were my favourite sporting events so I took her to the trials and she got fascinated by 'tirandazi'," Singh recollected.

Since the fifth standard, Parneet has been wearing spectacles due to her poor eyesight.

However, Avtar ensured that her eyesight did not deteriorate by providing her with a leafy vegetables diet.

"Her breakfast will be full of leafy greens fried with an egg, and lunch will also be full of veggies. It has worked for her," Avtar said.

Her maiden success came while winning a silver medal at the National Inter-school tournament in 2019 and she has not looked back since then.

When the trial for the Asian Games happened for the first time in 2022 she could not make the cut but fortunately for her the Games got postponed and she entered the event from the second trial.

A voracious reader, Parneet has not let her studies dip as well while pursuing archery.

"She loves to read and study and must have read Milkha Singh's autobiography many times," Avtar said about Parneet, who had secured 89 per cent marks in class 10 and 85 percent in 12th.  

#Asian Games #Milkha Singh


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