The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are only months away and Punjab certainly is hoping to have a few athletes involved. Punjab has strong representation in Hockey, Boxing and Weight lifting. It also now looks likely that Khusbir Kaur will be representing India in the walking race. Khushbir will be looking to replicate her 2014 Asian Games success.
For Khushbir Kaur, walking on the road towards success has not been easy. The 26-year-old won the silver medal in the Women’s 20 km Race Walk at the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea. With that victory, she became the first Indian woman to win a walking race Asian medal. Kaur is now already gearing up to represent India at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“The current government is giving a lot of importance to sports, which is very good and we are seeing a marked improvement. But the one thing I have realised is that we must start preparing for these kinds of events four to five years in advance,” she says.
Hailing from Nikka Rasalpur, a small town near Jalandhar, Kaur was raised in a family of farmers. At six, she lost her father, but her mother always encouraged her to take up sports. She worked in other people’s houses to support the family and bring up the children. This led to her breaking national records in walking in 2008. She walked barefoot as she could not afford shoes.
She was conferred with the Arjuna Award last year, and the athlete surely has many more records to break before she hangs up her boots.