Still sprint­ing at 101 years old

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - SAMHEWAT

‘‘She in­spires every­one’’

Man Kaur is the world’s fastest 101-year-old In­dian.

In fact, she’s the only woman at her age to be do­ing what she’s do­ing.

Kaur will com­pete in the 100m, 200m, shot put, and javelin at this year’s World Masters Games which started in Auck­land this week.

She’s the only con­tes­tant in her age bracket - over 100 years - mean­ing she’ll au­to­mat­i­cally pick up gold in each of the four events.

She’s also the old­est com­peti­tor at the games by six years.

Her son, 79-year-old Gur­dev, who is also com­pet­ing in Auck­land, was the one who got her ca­reer started when she was at the ten­der age of 93.

While he was com­pet­ing, he no­ticed a num­ber of older women ath­letes run­ning around and thought his mother could do the same.

‘‘I took her to the grounds and saw she could run 400m with­out any prob­lem,’’ Gur­dev said.

‘‘And that was the start of her athletic life.’’

Since then, she’s com­peted in the United States, Canada, and Tai­wan, pick­ing up a num­ber of gold medals.

De­spite be­ing di­ag­nosed with osteoporosis in her back, she still man­ages to run around the track and her time for the 100m Amer- ican Masters in Au­gust was a brisk time of one minute 23 sec­onds - her per­sonal best be­ing one minute and one sec­ond.

Gur­dev said it came down to a bal­anced life­style.

‘‘She’s eat­ing good food and train­ing and there’s no ill will against any­one, so her mind is very good,’’ he said.

‘‘She in­spires every­one. There’s so many peo­ple in In­dia, they’re writ­ing ev­ery time on Face­book about how she is do­ing.

‘‘When she fin­ishes a race or event so many peo­ple like her, so many peo­ple want to have a pho­to­graph with her, so that’s good for her.’’

It’s Kaur’s first time to New Zealand and although she is ex­cited for her events, there’s no time for sight­see­ing as she flies back to In­dia as soon as she’s done.

The World Masters Games be­gan with an ex­trav­a­gant open­ing cer­e­mony at Eden Park on Fri­day night.

The games will host close to 25,000 ath­letes in what is one of the big­gest sport­ing events of its kind in the world.

With over 28 sports and 45 dis­ci­plines, the games is expected to boost Auck­land’s econ­omy by ad­ding $30.8 mil­lion to Auck­land’s GDP and 244,000 vis­i­tors.

The event wraps up on April 30.

SAM HEWAT/FAIRFAX NZ

Man Kaur, at 101 years old, will com­pete in four events at the World Masters Games. Gur­dev Kaur

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