Twenty-three-year-old Navjeet Kaur Dhillon of Amritsar won a bronze in women’s discus throw event at Commonwealth Games in Australia on Thursday with a throw of 57.43 m. Dhillon, who had made her personal best at 59.18m in Indian Grand Prix in February, edged out New Zealand’s Hakeai Sositana for the bronze medal as Haryana athlete Seema Punia (34) won silver with a throw of 60.41”.
“I was aiming at improving my personal best, but the start was not good. But, winning a medal at the Commonwealth Games has always been on my mind and the bronze will motivate me ahead. When I won the bronze medal in World Junior Championships (2014), I had only become the second athlete after Seema Punia to achieve the feat. She is an inspiration for me even to”ay,” said Dhillon, adding that she started discus throw due to her father Jaspal Singh who is also a former national champion in shot put. “This medal is for my family,” said Dhillon from Australia.
Daughter of Jaspal Singh, a SAFF Games silver medallist, and Kuldip Kaur, member of the 1986 Asian Games silver medal winning team, Dhillon started training on the ground of Khalsa College for Women under her father and with her elder brother Jasdip, a bronze medallist in 2008 Youth Commonwealth Games.
Dhillon, who made U-14 and U-16 national records in discus throw in 2008 and 2009 respectively, also made a new junior national record in shot put in Federation Cup in 2014.
Earlier this year, Dhillon won a gold medal in shot put with a throw of 16.45m and silver in discus throw with a throw of 57.75m in Federation Cup. “Her mother wanted her to start an individual sport. I had also won a bronze medal in javelin throw in 1985 nationals and we started training her in both the events. We were hopeful of her improving her personal best record today (Thursday), but she missed. But, this bronze medal will boost her confidence. This medal is more valuable to us than ours,” shared Jaspal.
Dhillon, who had to wait for more than two years for getting her cash award for the World Junior Athletics Championships bronze medal, is hopeful that Punjab government will offer her a job in the state.
Currently, Dhillon is working with Indian Railways as a junior clerk in Amritsar. “When I became only the second Indian athlete to win a medal in World Junior Athletics Championships, I thought that the state government would offer me a job as financial security is important for every athlete. I hope Punjab government offers job to all the Commonwealth Games medallists from the state,” shared Navjeet.