CHENNAI: From fleeing her in-laws’ house with her infant daughter in 2017 to finishing on the podium in the South Asian Games (SAG) on Saturday, wrestler Gursharanpreet Kaur has experienced enough ups and downs. The 76kg gold in Janakpur, Nepal is Gursharan’s first international medal in seven years and the supermom strongly believes it’s just a beginning.
The Punjab wrestler was forced to quit the sport in 2013 after marriage. She stayed away from the mat just to please her in-laws. Despite numerous atrocities, she remained tight-lipped for more than three years. The wrestler though decided to rebel when her husband threatened to kill her new-born daughter in 2016.
“I got a call from her (Gursharan) in the early summer in 2017. She told me not to tell mother as she will get worried. She told me the story and we (my sister, her daughter and me) somehow managed to escape her in-laws’ place leaving all her belongings including passport behind,” brother Karamjeet Singh told this daily. Her mother then convinced Gursharan to get back to the mat in 2018.
The 35-year-old won a gold medal in her weight category in the nationals held recently in Jalandhar and qualified for the SAG. “It’s my first international medal in seven years and I am really happy to make the opportunity count. I will look to compete in more tournaments now as it will keep me battle ready for the Olympic qualifiers scheduled in March and April,” Gursharan said from Nepal.
A sub-inspector with Punjab police, the wrestler had put on excessive weight post-pregnancy. She was around 97kg when she decided to resume wrestling. “It was tough but I made it possible for the sake of my daughter Nimrat. I want to give her a good life and wrestling is the way through which I can make her life better.”
Nimrat celebrated her third birthday in October. “We got her admitted in a reputed school. The life after years of hardships has finally smiled on us. We hope this continues. She is really desperate to qualify for Olympics and given the efforts she has been putting in, the goal looks realistic at the moment,” the brother said.
India is in seven categories in men’s freestyle and women’s wrestling, in the competition. Apart from Gursharan, Indian women — Sheetal Tomar (50), Pinki (53) and Sarita Mor (57) — also won a gold each on Saturday. In men’s freestyle, Satyawart Kadian (97kg), Sumit Malik (125kg), Amit Kumar (65kg) and Rahul Kumar (57kg) finished first.