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EXCLUSIVE: How Vegetarian Kamalpreet Kaur Managed Her Diet and Practice During Tokyo Olympics

By: Abreshmina Sayeed Quadri

Last Updated: August 11, 2021, 11:31 IST

Kamalpreet Kaur finished sixth in the women's discus throw finals with a best throw of 63.70 (Reuters Photo)

Kamalpreet Kaur finished sixth in the women's discus throw finals with a best throw of 63.70 (Reuters Photo)

Finding her kind of food is one of the challenges discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur faced during competitions abroad, and Tokyo was no different.

“Wo simple maida ki roti me bhi egg dalte hain (they add egg in a simple chapati made of all purpose flour too)”

Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur travels for many competitions abroad, but if there is one thing she finds difficult in those trips, it is finding her kind of food. As she described, “they put egg in everything.” Kaur finished sixth in the women’s discus throw finals with a best throw of 63.70, which is the best by an Indian woman in the final of a discus throw at the Olympics. Kamalpreet put up a noteworthy performance even though she couldn’t match her personal best of 65.06m, which had helped her qualify for the Tokyo Games.

We have often heard that non-vegetarian food is important for athletes to maintain good protein levels. However, Kamalpreet does not agree with the perception and feels there are things like paneer, milk, and curd, through which one can fulfill the protein requirements of the body.

Kamalpreet’s general diet is as desi as it gets – paneer, milk, curd, grams, pulses, beans, various boiled vegetables, and roti-sabzi. She adds vegan supplements to that to have a solid overall diet.

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However, Kamalpreet was unable to find the same during the Tokyo Olympics. Most of the food in Tokyo was non-vegetarian and Kamalpreet ate bread, fruits, a few vegetables, beans, cornflakes, and potatoes.

“You wouldn’t get sabzi-roti. It is tough to manage your diet in these situations. For me, I have always had these problems whenever I go for competition outside because they add eggs to everything. I try to carry my own food, stuff that can balance my protein level, my vegan supplements, I try to prepare accordingly,” she told News18.com in an exclusive interaction.

Kamalpreet said she even had to manage her practice according to the food she was able to consume, meaning she was practicing only once a day in Tokyo. “We used to wake up early morning for our Covid test, we had to submit our saliva kit. After that, we had a practice schedule. I was practicing only once a day because I am a vegetarian so, there was a bit of a problem with food there,” she said.

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Kamalpreet was one of the better performers from the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics but she wasn’t completely satisfied and vowed to improve on her mistakes.

“Any athlete id very rarely satisfied with his/her performance. If you ask Neeraj, he will also say ‘I am not very satisfied’. He has done 87, he will want to do 90. It’s the same with me. I couldn’t do my best but my first experience was good and according to India’s history, I did alright. But in the future, I will look into my mistakes and use my experience to do better.”

Kamalpreet shared the technique she uses in her discus throw and added that she had been working on her speed ahead of the Olympics. There are a couple of techniques she wants to add to her game, which she couldn’t risk before the Games. “I am a bit slow on the rotation so I have been working on my speed and I did drills to increase it. I had strength drills too. I do fix the release technique mostly because I am able to convert more power in that. In the fix release, you take the full turn and in the last movement, you have to make a standing throw,” she explained.

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first published:August 11, 2021, 11:27 IST
last updated:August 11, 2021, 11:31 IST