Making her fourth appearance in the Olympics, decorated Indian discus thrower Seema Punia will hope to make the most of her opportunity in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and add the missing piece from her trophy cabinet, an Olympic medal. Hailing from Sonipat, Haryana, Punia started her career at the young age of 11 in long-jump and as a hurdler, but took up discus throw later. She came to be known as the ‘Millennium Child’ after securing gold in the 2000 World Junior Championships; but was stripped of the medal after testing positive for pseudoephedrine a drug test.
Two years later, Punia won bronze in the 2002 World Junior Championships. In the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games (CWG), she secured the silver medal in discus throw. In the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, the athlete won bronze. In the 2014 Glasgow CWG, Punia settled for silver and once again in the 2018 Gold Coast CWG, picked up another silver. It is in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, where Punia tasted gold. In the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, Punia settled for bronze. In an illustrious and decorated career with a bit of controversy, Seema Punia will hope leave her mark in the Olympics before she bows out from the sport.
Age – 37
Sports/Discipline – Track and Field/Discuss Throw
Working Ranking – Unknown
First Olympic Games – 2004 Athens
World Junior Championships
— Bronze – World Junior Championships, 2002 Santiago
— Silver – Commonwealth Games, 2006 Melbourne
— Bronze – Commonwealth Games, 2010 Delhi
— Silver – Commonwealth Games, 2014 Glasgow
— Silver – Commonwealth Games, 2018 Gold Coast
— Gold – Asian Games, 2014 Incheon
— Bronze – Asian Games, 2018 Jakarta
Tokyo Olympics Qualification
Participating in the Inter-State Meet in Patiala on June 30, Seema Punia booked her ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as she breached the Olympic Qualification mark – 63.50 and threw the discus a distance of 63.72m to qualify for her fourth Olympic games.
Other than the qualification participation for the Tokyo Olympics in the Inter-State Meet in Patiala, Seema Punia has been training in Russia for the past two years. Her last appearance in a major tournament was in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. In Russia, Punia had to travel to participate in the Belarus Open Athletics, however, she could not breach the Olympic qualification there. Punia came back to India in 2021 to participate in the Federation Cup in March, but could not breach the Olympic Qualification either. It was in the Inter-State Meet that Punia was able to breach the mark and qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.