Rambai, the 106-year-old sprinter who took up athletics two years ago when she was 104 and had set a world record for 100 m sprint in the above 85 category, won three gold medals on Monday. The medals were in 100m sprint, 200m sprint and shot put at the 18th National Open Athletics Championship in Dehradun.
In each of the competitions, Rambai beat three to five other participants. She was happy to win the three gold medals. Rambai was born in Kadma, a village in Haryana’s Charkhi Dadri. She had been a housewife all her life and had been working in the farm fields. Punjab’s Mann Kaur inspired her to take up athletics as she had become the world’s fastest centenarian to win gold at the American Masters Game in Vancouver. Rambai’s 41-year-old granddaughter Sharmila Sangwan told her if Mann Kaur could do it then why not her.
Rambai said initially she was hesitant to participate in the sporting events but now she was happy that she had taken up the challenge. She said she wanted to send a message to today’s youth that if she could do it then they can also take up sports and remain fit.
Rambai says her everyday routine of working hard in the field was the most important reason for her fitness. She also added her diet consisted of milk, homemade dairy items and farm fresh vegetables. Rambai broke Kaur’s record completing the 100 m sprint in just 45.50 seconds at the Open Masters Athletics Championships in Vadodara last year. Rambai has won over 200 medals in about 14 sporting events she has participated in India and abroad.
At first, Rambai’s family was hesitant when she told them that she wanted to take up sports for fitness. The family members reasoned that if anything happened to her then the villagers are going to blame them for not taking care of their elderly family member. But Sharmila convinced them by sharing Mann Kaur’s story.
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