Mann Kaur was hospitalised for a month with her 82-year-old son, Gurdev Singh, by her side. She was diagnosed with gall bladder and liver cancer in February. (Keshav Singh/HT file photo)
Mann Kaur was hospitalised for a month with her 82-year-old son, Gurdev Singh, by her side. She was diagnosed with gall bladder and liver cancer in February. (Keshav Singh/HT file photo)

Veteran Punjabi athlete Mann Kaur passes away at 105

She suffered a cardiac arrest and died at a hospital in Dera Bassi near Chandigarh, where she was admitted for cancer
By Shalini Gupta
PUBLISHED ON JUL 31, 2021 03:57 PM IST

After battling with gall bladder and liver cancer for six months, 105-year-old veteran athlete Mann Kaur suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away at a hospital near Chandigarh on Saturday afternoon.

Mann Kaur was hospitalised for a month with her 82-year-old son, Gurdev Singh, by her side. She was diagnosed with gall bladder and liver cancer in February.

Also read: It’s never too late to follow your heart and start something new: Centenarian athlete Mann Kaur

Mann was admitted to Hospital & Institute of Integrated Medical Sciences (HIIMS) at Dera Bassi town in the periphery of Chandigarh. “Her health deteriorated last month. She was home before that. Doctors did well but the cancer had spread,” said her son, Gurdev Singh, who is also an athlete.

The centenarian had been on liquid diet and had been treating the disease with the help of homeopathic medicines, as operation was not an option at her age.

She was born in Patiala on March 1, 1916.

She took up athletics at 93

“Losing a parent even at my age is a setback. She fought well but her heart could not take the load. She had been an inspiration for not only me but also to many master athletes,” said her grieving son.

Mann took up athletics at the age of 93 at the behest of her son and after that there was no looking back. She received the Nari Shakti Puraskar from the President at 103.

In 2016, she was declared the fastest centenarian at a competition in the American Masters Games.

Mann and her son are also among the prominent personalities of the Fit India Movement.

Record sky walk at 102

Mann’s exploits at her age have been exemplary. In the World Masters Games 2017 in Auckland, she completed the 100-metre sprint in 74 seconds. She made a record by doing a sky walk at the Sky Tower in Auckland when she was 102 years old. The tower is at a height of 192 metres. Gurdev Singh supported her in breaking the world record for she held his hand through the feat.

In 2019, she competed in Poland winning four events in her category: Shot put, 60m sprint, 200m and the javelin. In 2019, she won the gold in the 200m dash and shot put at the Asian Masters Championship in Malaysia.

She will be cremated on Sunday.

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