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Priya Motiani

JWB Blogger

Olympic Shot-Putter Can’t Take Coach To Rio As “She Won’t Win A Medal Anyway”

  • JWB Post
  •  July 20, 2016


Something really berserk happened with India’s first-female shot-putter Manpreet Kaur. Actually, berserk doesn’t even begin to describe this incident. It is utterly and downright shameful.

Manpreet, who broke an 18-year-old national record at the 55th Senior Open Athletics Championship last year and who is now in Poland, put forward a legit request regarding her participation in the ongoing Rio Olympics.

“When I asked a senior Athletics Federation of India (AFI) official about taking my coach (and husband) Karamjeet Singh, I was told, ‘You won’t win a medal, so what’s the point of sending a coach with you?’ I was taken aback by the statement. I mean, whom am I representing here? I’m trying to win a medal for my country, not just for myself,” Manpreet recently told Sportskeeda.

What in God’s name was that!

No, actually, the AFI has got a point. People don’t go to Rio to win a medal, right? People go there to sing and dance on hawan karenge, right? All of us owe AFI an apology for being enraged, right?

“I have a daughter of four years, who is alone at home. Why would I go all the way to Rio just to participate? I felt extremely bad because the official doesn’t know the importance of my coach going with me. They should understand that I can’t go there, and train alone for 10 days. I am giving my 110% to win a medal at Rio, but if my coach doesn’t go with me, who will squat me during training?

Shot-put training mostly includes lifting a lot of weights, which could lead to an injury, if performed alone. Though I know the basic training, we have a routine planned for the Olympics, which will be completely disrupted. Even the best athletes in the world have their coaches travelling with them.

Throwing 19m is not that big of a deal, it’s just about doing it consistently. That consistency will be improved only when I’m training in Rio. I sincerely request the AFI and the Sports Ministry to allow my coach to travel with me. I also don’t want to get an injury while training before the event. This will affect our athletics and women’s shot-put’s future adversely,” Manpreet said.

Her husband, Karamjeet Singh, who also happens to be her coach said, “Even if we raise the money from our end, how do you expect us to get all the formalities done in time? She will be leaving from Poland on July 25. Then, she will be in Rio for 12 days till the competition. It will take at least 12 days for me to raise the funds, and get all the formalities done. I can only reach there by August 10, as I can’t leave before August 6, and her competition is three days after that. As per her routine, she won’t be training two days before the event. So, there is no point (in me going there then). It would’ve been better if we would’ve trained in India. She could have worked on the things that have improved her throws.”

Well well well, after AFI’s bizarre judgement on the situation, I feel all this persuasion is falling on deaf ears. This attitude is the reason why women have to go through endless difficulties in their lives.

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