China will not grant a travel visa to 101-year-old runner Man Kaur from India, preventing the athlete from attending the Asian Masters Athlethics Championships. The event started on Sunday in Rugao, China. Kaur had hoped to compete in the 100 meters, 200 meters, shot put and javelin.
Kaur won the 100m gold at the World Masters Games in Auckland in April. Her victory earned her the nickname the “miracle from Chandigarh” in the New Zealand press. She won that race in one minute and 14 seconds, the only athlete in her age category.
Kaur is far from a lifelong runner. She began competing at age 93 when her son, Gurdev Singh, asked her to join him at a meet. Since then, the mother-son pair has traveled around the world, competing at various masters track and field championships. Singh’s visa for the event was also denied.
“We have travelled all over the world, from England to America to New Zealand but never has our visa been rejected,” Singh, a permanent resident of Canada, told international news agency AFP.
Despite not being able to compete, Kaur’s running continues to inspire. She is nominated for a prestigious Laureus World Sports Award in the Best Sporting Moment of the Year category. Voting is open to the general public on mylaureus.com.
Despite the setback, Kaur and her son will continue training in India. Both of them have their sights set on the 2018 World Masters Athletics Championships, taking place in Spain next September.