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Did You Know Olympic Star Kamalpreet Kaur Wanted to Leave Discus Throw to Play Cricket?

Discus Thrower Kamalpreet Kaur in action at Tokyo 2020 (AP)

Discus Thrower Kamalpreet Kaur in action at Tokyo 2020 (AP)

Kamalpreet Kaur, who finished second in the women's discus throw qualifiers at Tokyo Olympics, wanted to leave the sport altogether and play cricket.

Indian star Kamalpreet Kaur on Sunday scripted history by qualifying for the finals of the discus throw in the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Games. Kamalpreet is only the second female athlete and third overall player from India to qualify for the final of discus throw at the Olympics. On Sunday morning, Kamalpreet in her third and final attempt threw the discus to a distance of 64m to confirm her berth in the final of the Tokyo Games.

However, Kamalpreet’s journey to the Japanese capital has not been an easy one as she battled depression just a year before travelling to Tokyo. In fact, there was a moment in the 25-year-old athlete’s career when she even contemplated leaving discus throw to play cricket.

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Kamalpreet had made this admission last month during an interview with the Bridge. Even though several high profiled athletes in the world have opened up about battling depression during their careers, it is still a taboo topic in India.

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However, Kamalpreet, did not shy away from openly discussing how she struggled with mental health last year during the COVID-19 pandemic enforced lockdown.

“I went into depression towards the end of 2020 due to the fact that I was not able to compete in tournaments due to prevailing covid-19 restrictions,” Kamalpreet had told the Bridge.

She further revealed that there was a point when she wanted to pick bat and bowl rather than the disc.

“In fact, I had even left training discus and started practising cricket," she added.

The decision to pick cricket over any other sport was also a reasonable one for the ace athlete as she used to play the game in her childhood.

During her candid chat, Kamalpreet had also revealed that she chose athletics as she was not aware that there was a women’s team and “cricket tournaments happen for girls.”

However, after some intense discussion with a few senior athletes of India, Kamalpreet decided to continue with discuss throw. And, today her hard work paved off as she is just a few steps away from clinching an Olympics medal in the discus throw.

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first published:July 31, 2021, 13:32 IST