Yashkeerat Kaur Hayar
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Bronze at Commonwealth Junior Cadet Championship
“Courageous” is how her father describes her, and fencing prodigy Yashkeerat Kaur Hayar admirably showcased that quality to win bronze in the individual epee section at the Commonwealth Junior and Cadet Fencing Championship in Newcastle, England. The 17-yearold is the first Indian woman fencer to win individual medal at the Commonwealth level.
“I should have done better. I lost by just two points in the semifinal to my Scottish opponent. That said, this medal definitely boosts my confidence level and inspires me to excel in the future,” Yashkeerat told TOI from Newcastle. The gold medal was won by Laura Sheffield of England, while the silver went to Scotland’s Alex Stewart. Another English girl, Alexandra Powell, grabbed the second bronze medal on offer.
A Class XII student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, Yashkeerat is also an athlete. Her pet events are the 200m, 400m race and long jump. Her fencing coach is Charanjit Kaur, while badminton coach Surinder Mahajan looks after her fitness aspects. Her father, Harjinder Singh, who is a subinspector in Punjab Police’s intelligence department, said Yashkeerat started fencing when she was 10.
“She is honing her skills in fencing since last 7 years. Initially, she was totally into athletics, but seeing her height, Charanjit madam made her try fencing. Her height gave her better reach,” he said.