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'She is the best': Discus-thrower Kamalpreet Kaur’s coach Rakhi Tygai recounts her single-minded journey

11:19 PM Jul 31, 2021 | Joe Williams

“She is one of the few athletes who gives everything to prove she is the best. I hope she does the same on August 2 at 4.30 pm when she takes to the field for the final showdown,” said Rakhi Tyagi, discus-thrower Kamalpreet Kaur’s coach from SAI hostel in Badal, following pan-India jubilance over the athlete’s ‘monstrous’ throw on Day 9 at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 23-year-old athlete from Punjab has qualified for the final round as the second-best thrower with a best effort of 64m. As stardom awaits her, she is determined to achieve what none of the athletes have at this highest-level sporting extravaganza in recent times.

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“Yes, she took to cricket during the lockdown, as there was no practice. She is a fan of Virendra Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, but there is nothing beyond that. She is a born athlete,” said Tyagi of Kamalpreet, who comes from a family of farmers.

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“Come what may, she will never leave discus, as she is very passionate about the sport,” said Tyagi, who has been training with her for over seven years. “She is more a foodie than a cricketer; but I am sure food comes after athletics,” she added.

Tyagi said Kamalpreet’s home in Kabarwala village in Punjab’s Muktsar district is already buzzing with guests and people calling in with congratulatory messages. “I talked to her this morning (Saturday) and she was very happy. She told me she will give her best shot in the finals,” said Tyagi, adding that the athlete has always been very focused and made her dream of participating in the Olympics come true through sheer hard work.

Employed with the Railways, Kamalpreet has been in impressive form this year. She threw 65.06m during the Federation Cup in March to break the national record and become the first Indian woman to breach the 65 mt mark.

In June, she bettered her own national record with a throw of 66.59m during the Indian Grand Prix-4 to become world number six. “Let’s not take things overboard, let her compete in the finals and let us all wish her the best,” signed off Tyagi.

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