Sunday October 21, 2012
73-year-old still winning medals at various sporting events
By R.S.N. MURALI
MALACCA: Jane Paripuranam is no typical granny and she is all out to prove that age is just a number.
At 73, she can beat many athletes hands down in many sports, especially field events.
She has so far collected 110 gold, 98 silver and 50 bronze medals in more than 45 international, national and state sporting events.
At an age when most grandmothers would be spending most of their time playing with grandchildren, Paripuranam continues to train rigorously.
“Probably I was born to be an athlete. Many youths here nicknamed me Mighty Aunty each time they see me training at school fields around my area in Batu Berendam,” she said.
Paripuranam's interest in sports started at the tender age of seven when her late mother encouraged her to take part in school and community sporting meets.
“Even after I got married, my late husband George Jebaratnam continued to encourage me to be active in sport events.
“At 30, I achieved success in the shot putt, javelin, discus and hammer throw events at the state, National and International levels.
“I love the challenge because I have a very competitive spirit. I don't give up easily, even to my younger opponents,” she said.
Paripuranam's three children, two sons and a daughter aged between 33 and 51, also motivate her to take part in sport meets including those organised overseas.
On Nov 2, she will take part in the 17th Asia Master Athletic Championship in Taipei where she will be taking part in field events.
“I am varying my exercise technics as part of the preparation, besides the usual push ups and sit-ups and running to improve my stamina.
“I can still do all of the things that younger people do, but sometimes organisers of sporting events tend to doubt my ability,” she said, adding that for her, age was not a factor as long as one was mentally and physically prepared for the challenge.
Two records set by Paripuranam in the 1994 Asian Veteran Games in Jakarta remain unbroken until today.
Her 9.3m shot putt and 27.8m discus throw records have yet to be broken although she was already over 50 when she set them.
In 2010, she represented the country at the inaugural Intentional Veteran Athletic Championship in Mumbai where she grabbed four gold medals and set new records in four field events.
“Even when I was younger, I did not face any problem in juggling my roles as competitive athlete, mother, career woman and a wife,” said the retired nurse.