Senior citizens of the Kiwi Indian community in New Zealand are doing the community proud and setting an example for the youngster after bagging several gold, silver and bronze medals at the 31st New Zealand Master Games 2020 in Dunedin.
Five Kiwi Indians participated in different athletics under different age groups and brought home a total of two gold, five silver and four bronze medals.
Eighty-three-year-old athlete Jagjit Singh Kathuria participated in the age group of 81-85 and secured a gold in the long jump, and silver medals each in shot put, discus and javelin throw.
Surinder Pal Singh Bajaj, 76, (age group 75-82) grabbed gold in Long Jump, 65-year-old Zorawar Singh (age group 60-65) bagged a silver in Long Jump, 65-year-old-Pal Singh Gill (age group 60-65) won a silver medal in 10 km walk.
Tajinder Singh, a 66-year-old resident of Mt Wellington participating in the age group 65+ won four bronze medals, one each in discus, javelin throw, shot put and hammer.
“I train myself daily, walk, run and do gardening all by myself with bare hands- and my hard work over the years has made me stronger- and it gave me these prestigious four medals at the Master Games,” Tajinder Singh told The Indian Weekender.
Three Indian origin seniors travelling from India and Australia to New Zealand also participated in the Master Games in Dunedin. They won a total of 14 gold medals and one silver medal.
Four-times Olympic and Asian Games participant Harbhajan Singh Aulakh bagged six gold medals in 100, 200, 400, 800 mt races, Long Jump and High Jump. The 85-year-old originally from Batala, Punjab came to New Zealand represented Australia and won one silver medal in 400 mt hurdle race.
Eighty-year-old Dr Bakshi Singh Bangu who came from Australia representing India won four gold medals each in the shot put, discus, javelin throw and hammer. Mr Bangu is an Olympian, participated in Commonwealth Games, and is an international coach too.
Another athlete from India participating in the age group 50-55, Gurpreet Singh Batwal won four gold medals each in 100 and 200 m race, long jump and javelin throw.
“These senior citizens of our community are setting an example for the youngsters by making such incredible feats in sports and athletics and by remaining fit even at the age above 60 and 80,” a community member and sports enthusiast said.
The New Zealand Masters Games is the largest multi-sport event in New Zealand and is held yearly; the event alternates between Whanganui and Dunedin. The game started in Dunedin this year from Saturday, February 1 till Sunday, February 9.
Auckland based athlete Jagjit Singh Kathuria participated and won medals in several such games in New Zealand and overseas in the past and this year bagged three silver and two gold of which he was disqualified in one sport losing one precious gold medal.
“I won a gold in 3 km running as well but was later disqualified for wearing a long trouser and improper running shoe- they couldn’t judge my knees to identify whether I am walking or running,” athlete Jagjit Kathuria told The Indian Weekender.