NEW DELHI: Star star in athletics awaits After an impressive qualification show at the current Olympic Games in Tokyo, discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur wants to play cricket “someday”, but only if it doesn’t get in the way of her “first passion”.
The 25-year-old Kaur, who qualified as the second-best thrower for the final round with a best performance of 64 m, said she had a “natural talent” to play cricket as a batsman.
She had started trying her hand at cricket last year to deal with the psychological toll of the lockdown forced by the coronavirus.
“I’m not leaving the discus toss, this is my first passion. I want to repay a medal to the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Monday. They have left no stone unturned in my training.” Competition etc.
“After the Olympic Games, I want to win a medal at the World Championships (2022) and gold at the Asian Games,” said Kaur in an interview with PTI.
“But one day I want to play some cricket tournaments. That (cricket) is my second passion. I can still play athletics and also play cricket. I’ve played cricket in my village and nearby. I feel like that I have a natural talent for playing cricket, ”added the athlete, who stands at 6’1.
Kaur loves to hit and idolizes former Indian batsman Virender Sehwag and ex-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“I love striking like a Sehwag or a Dhoni. You have less technique but can knock any bowler out of the ground. Especially Sehwag, I remember a lot of great innings from him.
“One is the big innings (175 of 140 balls against Bangladesh) during the 2011 World Cup. How can I forget that? Series).”
When asked about other cricketers she likes, Kaur said, “I liked Sachin Tendulkar, he’s the god of cricket and then Rohit Sharma, who has the most double centuries (in ODIs), more than Sehwag.”
When she returned to athletics, Kaur said she was touched by the humility of Sandra Perkovic from Croatia and Valarie Allman from the US, who congratulated her after their qualifying round performance.
Allman (66.42 m) qualified best for the final, while Perkovic (63.75 m) came third.
“Perkovic is a great athlete with two Olympic gold medals (2012 and 2016), she ate her meal, but then she came to me and congratulated me. American Allman did it too, she told me it was a very good one good performance from I was touched, I’m like no one compared to them. ”
In contrast, her senior colleague on the Indian team made “unfounded” allegations against her.
Veteran Seema Punia, who failed to qualify for the final on Saturday, asked AFI to perform a hyperandrogenism test on Kaur after her junior colleague recently scored two large throws of 65.06m and 66.59m, to be sixth in the world.
“I was injured (by the allegation). She is superior to me and instead of giving me advice, she made allegations without evidence,” said Kaur, without giving a name.
At her first Olympics in Tokyo and even without her personal trainer, Kaur said she was nervous ahead of Saturday’s qualifying round.
“The Olympics is a big event. Before the throw I was nervous. But after the first throw I felt better. The third throw I was confident and therefore touched the 64-meter mark.
“I think I’ll be confident in the final. I think I can improve my personal best (66.59 m) and win a medal for the country. That’s my only goal now.”
Her personal trainer, Rakhi Tyagi, was unable to accompany Kaur to Tokyo because her name was not on the long list presented to Olympic organizers months ago. AFI went to great lengths to get its accreditation but was unsuccessful.
“Yes, it would have been better to have my coach with me. This also increased the tension at first.
Kaur also revealed that she threw her shoulder and knee with slight pain.
“Didn’t you notice that I had straps on my shoulder and knee? I felt a little pain, but it wasn’t much of a problem. The shoulder pain started a few days after the 66.59-meter throw (4th in June at the Indian Grand Prix) .) on in Patiala) and the knee pain is about two weeks old. ”
She said she would not have reached this stage without the support of AFI and SAI.
“AFI organized competitions before the Olympic Games and supported me in every way, also in the mental area. SAI helped me financially (via TOPS) for my training etc.”