SBS Punjabi

Australian Punjabi athletes shine bright in World Masters Rankings 2022

SBS Punjabi

World masters ranking Punjabi men

(L-R) Kuldeep Singh Aulakh, Gogi Rai, Gursher Singh Maan, Randeep Grewal stormed to the top 25 list of World Masters Ranking 2022 in various categories. Source: Supplied

Published 29 April 2022 at 3:03pm
By Sumeet Kaur
Source: SBS

Kuldeep Singh Aulakh, Gogi Rai, Gursher Singh Maan and Randeep Grewal are among the world's top 25 athletes for their age groups across various track and field events. Interestingly, there are only four Punjabi names on the list and all are based in Australia.

Published 29 April 2022 at 3:03pm
By Sumeet Kaur
Source: SBS

  • World Masters Rankings is the official ranking for World Masters Athletics
  • Master athletes are aged 30 years and above
  • Four Punjabi Australians, Kuldeep Singh Aulakh, Gogi Rai, Gursher Singh Maan and Randeep Grewal, have ranked among the top 25 athletes worldwide in various age groups and events
Four men from Australia's Punjabi community have cracked the World Masters top 25 this year.

The rankings take into account all performances of 'master athletes' (aged 30 years and above) in competitions that are fully run in accordance with World Masters Athletics rules and athletic bodies of different countries.

Speaking to SBS Punjabi, these athletes share their journeys, accomplishments and inspirations.

Kuldip Singh Aulakh has steadily grown in stature, winning various medals over the past 25 years.

Recently, Mr Aulakh has won medals in short-distance races at Masters Athletics championships across Victoria. He has secured the world no. 13 ranking in the 400m category and no. 22 in both the 100m and 200m in the 35-39 age group.
kuldeep aulakh
Kuldeep Aulakh competes in 35-39 age groups for short-distance race championships and also participates in many community-based sports initiatives. Source: Supplied by Mr Aulakh
Hailing from Tarn Taran in Punjab, he migrated to Australia in 2007.

"The hardships of migrant life did halt my athletic journey for five years, but against all odds, I tried to give my best," said Mr Aulakh.

Mr Aulakh, who lives in Melbourne's southeast, said he aims to promote athletics among children.

gursher maan harseen sahota
(L) Gursher Singh Maan with his medals (R) Mr Maan with his wife Harseen Sahota. The couple has a shared interest in athletics. Source: Supplied by Mr Maan.
Health and wellbeing officer Gursher Singh Maan has been passionate about athletics since he was a child.

After claiming a haul of medals in India and a short stint as a head constable in the Indian army, Mr Maan migrated to Australia in 2006 on a bachelor of sports management scholarship from the University of Canberra.

"I participated in my first nationals in the seventh grade and represented Punjab around 11 times at national level," he claimed.

Mr Maan has achieved the world no. 21 ranking in the 30-34 age group for the 100m race. Now eyeing international glory, Mr Maan is preparing to compete in the World Masters Indoor Canada 2023.

His wife, Harseen Sahota, also has an athletic inclination. She won bronze in Discuss Throw at the NSW Masters Competition.

Mr Maan, who is an Athletics Australia certified coach, voluntarily provides free coaching to Punjabi children for 3-5 days a week in Glenwood, Blacktown.

gogi rai
With various titles to his name, Melbourne based Gogi Rai(in white) credits athletics to cure his asthmatic condition. Source: Supplied by Mr Rai.
Melbourne-based teacher and coach Gogi Rai, who has also achieved a top ranking in the 30-34 age group in various events, took to athletics in 2000.

"I started sports because I was born asthmatic and a weak child. When I was nine, my parents introduced me to track due to my slow growth, thinking that sports may help me grow better," the 31-year-old said.

"Athletics helped me overcome the severe asthma I was born with," he added.

Sharing his sports journey, Mr Rai said, "My track record has helped me accumulate enough points to reach a high ranking, and it's a reward for my passion for athletics."

Mr Rai is now gearing up to qualify for the Commonwealth Games 2026, to be held in Victoria.

Often seen practising and coaching children in Melbourne's Epping area, Mr Gogi said, "I'm within touching distance of glory, and I am practising hard to make it to the podium."

Father and Son duo smashing Masters Games
Randeep Grewal with his father Harsharan Singh Grewal. Source: Randeep Grewal
Sydney-based Randeep Grewal started his athletics journey not so long ago, competing in the NSW Masters championships and winning various medals throughout the past year.

"COVID-19 gave me time and a chance to work on myself, and the results are fulfilling," he said.

Mr Grewal is ranked no. 18 in the 400m category for the 35-39 age group.

world masters ranking
World Masters Ranking list. Source: Supplied

Talking about his accomplishment, he said, "Athletes often want to know how they stack up against other athletes. These rankings tell us how we are doing on the international front."

Motivated by his father, Harsharan Grewal, a prolific marathon runner, Randeep is training regularly for upcoming national and international events.

Click on the audio player at the top of the page to listen to this conversation in Punjabi. 

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