Kamalpreet Kaur becomes second Indian woman to qualify for Discus Throw final
With her effort today, Kamalpreet Kaur becomes only the second Indian woman to qualify for the Olympic final in Discus throw.
Kamalpreet Kaur is one of India's newly found sporting heroes. The 25-year-old from Punjab shot to fame when she set a national record with a throw of 65.06 during the Federation Cup in March earlier this year and made her way into the Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics.
She, thus, became the very first Indian to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in the sport of discus throw.
If this was not enough, the Punjab girl once again took the Indian sporting fraternity by storm with a massive throw of 66.59m just a couple of months later during the Indian Grand Prix 4. Now, this was a distance unheard of in India, both men's and women's combined.
Since then, there have been murmurs amongst Indian fans on how Kamalpreet Kaur could prove to be a dark horse for India when she takes to the field in the Tokyo Olympics.
While no one really counted her as a medal hopeful, Kamalpreet Kaur made every list ever made of the Indians who might spring a surprise during her time in Tokyo.
Earlier today, when Kamapreet Kaur kickstarted her campaign in Tokyo at the Olympic Stadium, there certainly were hopes, albeit in hushed tones.
Just before Kamalpreet took to the field, the other Indian discus thrower in action, Seema Punia, had a disappointing start in Group A with a best of just 60.57m and finished sixth.
Though Indian fans were hopeful of a good display from Kamalpreet Kaur, no one dared to say it out loud. Nobody wanted to jinx.
And boy, she delivered!
Competing in Group B, Kamalpreet started her campaign with a throw of 60.29. Nothing impressive, but a good start.
Her second attempt saw her throw 63.97m - a massive improvement and just 0.03m away from direct qualification to the Women's Discus throw final.
With the other throwers in contention not really in the best of their elements, Kamalpreet Kaur's second throw would have been enough to see her through to the finals. But, she had different ideas.
In her third and final attempt, she threw the discus to an exact distance of 64m and directly qualified for the final!
Kamalpreet was the second-best discus thrower on the field today, behind the American Valarie Allman, who finished with a best of 66.42m.
With her effort today, Kamalpreet Kaur also became only the second Indian woman to qualify for the Olympic final in the Discus throw.
The first Indian woman to achieve this feat was Krishna Poonia, during the 2012 London Games, where she finished 6th in the final!
"I talked to her today and she was very happy. She told me that she will give her best shot in the final," Kamalpreet's father Kuldeep Singh told PTI. "She is always focused on her game and made her dream of participating in the Olympics come true through her sheer hard work," said the elated father.
Besides, Kamalpreet Kaur is also the third Indian to qualify for the final discus throw at the Olympics.
Vikas Gowda was the first Indian to achieve this feat, and much like Krishna Poonia, he, too, achieved this during the 2012 London Olympics. He had then finished 8th in the final.
Can Kamalpreet Kaur better the performance of Vikas Gowda and Krishna Poonia? Only time will tell.