NAME: Seema Punia
Seema Punia will walk onto the field at the 2018 Asian Games, hoping for a podium finish. With a gold in the last edition and a silver at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, she is sure to bring the golden glory for India in Jakarta.
With silver medal at the 2006 Melbourne Games and bronze at the 2010 Delhi Games and then again double silver in the following 2 Commonwealth Games, Seema is one of the most celebrated athletes from India. She has also represented the country in 3 Olympics Games in 2004, 2012, and 2016.
Interestingly, she’s also the lone athletics gold medalist from the last Asian Games in Incheon.
In a career of more than 2 decades, Seema has competed in three Olympics (2004, 2012 and 2016), one Asian Games (2014) and three CWG so far and the Gold Coast was her last CWG. However, she is also aiming for 2020 Olympics.
Seema was born in Haryana’s Sonepat and began her career at the age of 11 as a hurdler and a long-jumper, it was later that she took to discus throw. It’s interesting to note that she has won medals in shot put as well.
She rose to fame in 2010 when she beat the then national discuss throw champion. Neelam Jaswant in 2000 during the Calcutta Open Nationals with an effort of 57.30m
She did not stop there, in the same year, a 17-year-old Seema proved her mettle in the World Junior Athletic Championship in Santiago, Chile.
However, she was found positive in a drug test for stimulant pseudoephedrine, a drug widely used in medications for the common cold.
Under the IAAF rules of that time, she was not suspended but the news tainted her image. Seema then paved her way back to the top with a bronze at the next World Junior Championships in 2002. She has emerged victorious every time she’s faced a challenged and would look to end her career on a golden note in Jakarta.