'Will Win More Medals for India': 94-Year-Old Athletic Champion Bhagwani Devi

Bhagwani Devi, also known as 'Delhi’s Dadi,' has won three medals at the age of 94.

2 min read

(This video is being reposted from The Quint's archives after Bhagwani Devi Dagar, won gold medal in the 100-metre sprint at the World Masters Athletics Championships held in Tampere, Finland from 29 June to 10 July.)

At the World Master Athletics Championship held in Finland, 94-year-old Bhagwani Devi Dagar won three medals for India, including a gold. She also created a national record by completing the 100-meter race in 24.74 seconds.

The nonagenarian started her athletic career only six months ago. "When she first picked up 'shot-put', at the age of 94, that was the turning point. In the last six months, Bhagwani Devi has won three gold medals for Delhi, three gold in Chennai for national, and now recently one gold and two bronze in World Master Athletics in Finland," said Vikas Dagar, Bhagwani Devi's grandson.

When she showed an interest in sports, her family started helping her.

"We don't force her for anything because at this age there are a lot of chances of injuries. Our main focus is how she can stay fit. Other than her morning and evening walks, we have her do warm-up sessions. There is no scientific training or gym."
Vikas Dagar, Bhagwani Devi's grandson

Struggles in Personal Life

Bhagwani Devi's personal life is a story of struggle as she has been through several downturns. Her husband died at the age of 29, when she was pregnant with their son. Four years later, her elder daughter died at the age of 11.

Bhagwani Devi has fought illness too. She also underwent a bypass surgery.

"When we saw her determination, we decided to let her play. She used to say ‘I have lived my life. Don't worry even if something happens to me.’ Her positive attitude encouraged us to support her," added Bhagwani Devi's grandson.

'Will Win More Medals for My Country'

Bhagwani Devi is now preparing for next year’s World Indoor Master Athletics, which is set to take place in Poland.

"I am ready if there is no illness," the gold medallist said. "I will go to another country and will win a medal to make my country proud," she added.

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Topics:  Athletics 

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