On the wrong side of the 80s,the Chopras are still running to win
At 86 years old and running,Badrinath Chopra and his wife Krishna,83,are like any other senior couple. Only,they are not. They are champion athletes who have been competing in veteran championships at both national and international levels for over two decades now.
Plus they dont like to be called old. Dont ask me how old I am,just enquire how young I still feel about myself, says Chopra,when asked about his age. Then as an afterthought he answers: I am a young man of 86 years and she is my wife Krishna Chopra and we are both world champions in our fields.
Chopra won gold in steeplechase at the world championships held in Recconie,Italy in September 2008. And now the couple is ready for the 15th Asia Cup for master athletes in Bangkok from January 13-17.
Even his parent federation,the Delhi Masters Athletic Association,is hopeful that Chopra will come back with a medal. He is very competitive for a man of his age. A few medals are expected from him and his wife from the Bangkok meet, says Rajender Singh Minhas,the working secretary of the association.
Chopra,though,has a slight grouse. The couple is an unknown entity even in their South Extension colony,let alone the country. The people in my colony have no idea about our achievements. I am not desperate for recognition,but if they get to know about how fit we are for our ages,it just might make them think on working on keeping themselves fit, he says.
Chopra remembers all his exploits and achievements clearly. There is a black and white photograph of the victorious Lyallpur Government College (now Faislabad) hockey club from the Amit Memorial Tournament and the DHJ Memorial Tournament in 1943. This is me standing at the far left in the second row, he says,adding: This is the only thing,along with few clothes,that I could bring after Partition.
Their daily routine might shame many youngsters. We get up at 4 am and do warm-up exercises at home before going for a 5km walk at the Nehru Stadium everyday,followed by exercise for 15 minutes, says Krishna.