101-year-old Indian runner Man Kaur, who earlier this year won her 17th gold medal at the World Masters Games in Auckland, has been denied a visa by the Chinese Embassy for the China Masters meet in Rubao. Kaur in the last four months shifted her base to the Punjabi University in Patiala to train for the Asian Masters Athletics Championships to be held in Rubao along with her 79-year-old son Gurdev Singh. While talking about the incident Kaur said, “Had applied for visa, but (Chinese) embassy rejected saying I don’t have official invite. I said my name is enrolled but they refused,” as quoted by ANI. The Asian Masters meet is all set to begin on Tuesday. According to Indian Express, Kaur, who won the 100m gold medal in the 100+ category at the World Masters Games in New Zealand in April, was the only Indian athlete denied visa by the Chinese Embassy.
While talking about what happened, Kaur said, “Mera kam hai daudna aur main eh kam kardi rawange (My task is to run and I will continue running). We had come to Delhi last week and submitted our visa application along with the letter of Indian Masters Athletics Association. On Friday, the Chinese Embassy officials told us that they have denied us the visa for the Asian Masters Championships. But I am physically and mentally ready for the events and such disappointments cannot deter me.”
Chinese Embassy denies visa to 101-year-old athlete Man Kaur for Asian Masters Athletics Championships pic.twitter.com/mUe6c33ZUN
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Gurdev Singh, who also competes in the 100m, 200m and long jump, while talking about his mother said, “When she started winning medals, she wanted to keep winning them. Since there are fewer international competitions, we were looking forward to the Asian Championships in China. During the last four months, she also showed her interest in the 400m and trained for that. We had also booked our flights from Shanghai to Los Angeles, once the tournament ended. We had taken part in the Asian Championships in 2013 in China. What harm can a 101-year-old and 79-year-old do in China apart from aiming for a medal?” He added, “She is mentally and physically ready for the events and we still make rotis from wheat and chickpea sprouts. That is what keeps us healthy. By God’s grace, we will both compete in Spain.”
The 101-year-old Indian athlete Man Kaur has started running at the age of 93 years. At the 2011 Nationals, she won gold medal in 100m and 200m in her age group and later in the same year she secured gold in the two events at the World Masters Championships, according to IE.