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The Older, The Better: These Elderly Athletes Prove that Age is Just a Number

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A story of how passion and fitness can only get better, with time!

The passing of a few years doesn’t mean it will bring your fitness pursuits to an untimely end. For some athletes, it means getting older is getting better.

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Getting fitter and passionate than ever, you might not see these athletes on the magazines or jazzy sports covers, nor they might be getting those whopping sponsorships, but these Indian athletes are surely giving us some serious fitness goals.

Man Kaur: A Pursuit of determination and Happiness

Image Source: South China Morning Post

In addition to 20 gold medals at various track-and-field competitions around the world, the 102-year old Man Kaur marks her foray into Javelin after sweeping the gold medal at the 2018 World Masters in Malaga, Spain. With her unassailable grit and feats, Man Kaur is garnering attention.

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Man Kaur started her career at the age of 93! Too hard to believe? But, yes that’s the thing about Man Kaur. Her agility has something that can surpass even the best the players on track. It was her son, Gurdev Singh who introduced her to the world of sports.

Here are some of Man Kaur’s feats that deserve a hats-off:

  • In 2011, she ran the 150 and 200-meter races and yet again set new world records under both these categories.
  • In 2016 in Canada, she clocked a record time of one minute and 21 seconds in 100 m race.
  • Man Kaur was titled as the ‘Miracle of Chandigarh’ in 2009 when she scored a record which is just  42 seconds off Usain Bolt’s 100-meter world record set in 2009.
  • She clinched her second medal at the World Masters Championship in Spain.
Image Source: ndtv.com

And, and, in 2019, Man Kaur will be participating in Poland at the World Masters Athletics and then at the World Masters in Toronto followed by the 2021 World Master Games in Japan. Now, that’s news!

Man’s son, Gurdev Singh told the Asian Age, “People always tell me, what is the use of all this? And I tell them, the quality of her life is improving anyway, plus the happiness and sense of achievement are unmatched. It’s all happening by the grace of God.”

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The 76-year-old Shivnath’s bag is full of medals & there are more to come…

A former flying office at Indian Air Force is an international-level athlete. He is also a national champion in the steeplechase in Masters Athletics Championship in 2013 and 2014 that was played in Bangalore and Coimbatore, scoring gold medals at both the championships.

Shivnath ( in blue uniform). Image Source: sportsavour.com

Father of three sons, Shivnath retired from the navy in 1996 and has many noteworthy records to his credit. Shivnath secured the 5th place at 4×100 meter relay at the 21st World Masters Athletics Championship in France in 2015. From then, he never looked back.

At the 20th Asia Masters Athletics Championship held in Rugao, China, Shivnath clinched 4 bronze medals, thus helping India bag a total of 146 medals, overall.

In an interview during the Championships, Shivnath had quoted, “I am ecstatic over winning the four bronze medals. I participated against doctor’s advice and overcame osteoporosis to win the medals. Now I plan to gear up for the World Masters Athletics 2018 and have already finalized my preparation plans.”

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Vasantha Samuel: The Sky is not her limit

Image Source: The News Minute

80-year-old, Dr Vasantha Samuel is a well-known name in the Masters’ Athletics circuit. Dr Samuel, a homoeopath by profession, was the eldest sportsperson among the 400 member Coimbatore District Masters’ Athletics Association. She was part of the 280-strong contingent that represented India in China. She bagged three medals, one gold and silver at the championships.

The Masters Athletics Federation of India

The Masters Athletics Federation of India is promoting such athletic participation for the elderly athletes including the retired ones.

Image Source: MensXP

Formed in 1980, this sports body is the brainchild of Flying Sikh – Milkha Singh. Aiming and offering a healthy lifestyle to the senior citizens. The organization aims to mobilize and rehabilitate retired athletes – not only boosting their physical strength but also vigorously increasing their mental game.

The response to this initiative is outstanding that the athletic performances of these elderly athletes could put many 20-somethings’ fitness achievements to shame. They are just getting better with age.

Just like Man Kaur, Shivnath and many more like them proves to be the ambassadors of sports. Their performances and spirits prove to be a great motivation for sportspersons in our country.

It’s just that they had been focusing on the fitness attainments, which only a few of us can actually manage.

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Bhawna Kothari
Bhawna Kothari
Lover of cultures, varied colors, and underdogs, Bhawna is a by-heart and professional playwright. Hailing from a journalism & communication background, she incorporates a careful study at both flips of the coin which is essentially required to be analytical in thoughts and words. Actively abreast of the current affairs around the globe, she likes knowing and bringing into light the unexplored. Problem solving via the power of content is what inspires her and hence KreedOn, a platform created for the betterment of sports ecosystem in India, is now her happy workplace!


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