Late start no obstacle to 103-year-old record-breaking athlete

Man and her son Gurdev are in Kuching to take part in the 21st AMA Championships.

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By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Dec 3: Centenarian Man Kaur is a remarkable woman, an inspiration for all who has made her country proud.

The 103-year-old athlete is here in Kuching to compete at the 21st Asia Masters Athletics (AMA) Championships being held from Dec 2 to 7.

Hailing from Patiala, Punjab in India, the oldest athlete at this year’s AMA Championships has broken records in many tracks and fields events for athletes over 100-years-old.

Man, who doesn’t speaks English, is accompanied by her 82-year-old retired civil servant son Gurdev Singh who himself is an athlete and a competitor in the AMA Championships.

Speaking to DayakDaily today, Gurdev said that her mother, who is a housewife, has been actively involved in sports in the last ten years.

“She started at the tender age of 93 when I asked her tag along with me to run as I was preparing for the AMA Championships myself. She loved it and has never looked back,” he said.

Gurdev said at that time, he thought that if he could do it as an ageing athlete, then he can’t see why his mother can’t follow suit.

“In hindsight, I knew, and I believed my mother could do it as she has strong legs, no knee problems and very good stamina for her age.”

Gurdev revealed that her mother’s first international event was when she represented India in the World Masters Athletics Championship in Sacramento, United States of America in 2010.

“In her first time participating (in the championship), my mother won two gold medals in the 100 and 200-metre (track) event. She also broke the existing world records, and in 2011, my mother was made the Athlete of the Year. It was an incredible year for the family,” he disclosed.

Gurdev also revealed his mother prefers to be active and to do lots of exercises.

“If she does not do it, she could get into more health complications and she is determined to stay in good shape. My mother is thrilled to be doing it for as long as she can.

“Since 2010 until now, she has won many gold medals in track and field events at international meets and she had travelled the world. She is very happy of course,” he said.

Gurdev revealed that his mother is still very much alert at her age and a very strong and spiritual lady.

His mother now lives in a Punjabi University apartment with all the conveniences so that she can train daily at the university’s track and field facilities.

On their family recipe for longevity, he said that his mother and the rest of his family only consume organic food and they don’t consume any food which they think is not good for their bodies and minds.

“We don’t take vitamin supplements too and most of the food we consume must be prepared with peace of mind and with happiness. Only with these thoughts can the food that we prepare and consume give us this good life,” he said.

Gurdev added he too is conscious of his diet and exercises regularly to maintain his shape and fitness.

“I have taken part in the Masters Athletic Championships for a long time and have won over 80 medals in different countries,” he enthused.

“I hope my mother is inspirational to all irrespective of their age. She is always active and training to improve herself and to better her time. We hope to see her breaking more world records for as long as she can.” — DayakDaily