Seema PUNIA

India IND

Athletics

  • Games participations
    4
  • First Olympic Games
    Athens 2004
  • Year of Birth
    1983
Olympic Results

Biography

Seema PUNIA

Heading into the Tokyo Olympics, discus thrower Seema Punia will be one of the senior-most members in the Indian athletics contingent.

In what will be her fourth Summer Games, Seema Punia will be hoping to at least make the finals at Tokyo 2020, a feat she’s missed in her past three attempts.

Born on July 27, 1983 in Sonipat, Haryana, Seema Punia’s sporting career began when she was just 11-years-old.

Though she hailed from a rural background, Seema Punia found it relatively easy to make a foray into the world of sports given her brothers Anandpal Singh (wrestling) and Amitpal Singh (hockey) were already invested in other sporting disciplines.

Seema Punia was initially drawn towards running and jumping -- hurdles and long jump were her preferred events -- but soon switched to discus throw on the advice of her coaches who thought the sport complemented her brute power.

But it wasn’t until 2002 that the Haryana athlete announced herself at the international stage. Competing in the 2002 World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica, Seema Punia won a bronze medal - her first major international achievement.

That performance pushed the Indian discus thrower to greater heights in the coming years as she made her Olympic debut at the 2004 Games in Athens.

Though Seema Punia couldn’t match her personal best of 64.84 metres -- a then national record achieved at the Kyiv Ukrainian National Cup a few weeks before Athens 2004 - a 60.64 metres attempt ensured a 14th place finish in Athens.

The next time Seema Punia crossed the 60-metre barrier was at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The effort fetched her a silver medal, her first medal at the Commonwealth event.

Many expected her to do better at the Asian Games the same year. But Seema Punia withdrew from the event due to her father’s poor health.

The next few years saw Seema Punia restrict her participation to a few events with a recurring knee injury holding back her progress. This also meant that she missed the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Seema Punia announced her comeback in 2010 with a silver medal at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games. She then built on the performance and sealed a spot in the 2012 London Olympics.

Seema Punia married her long-time coach and the former international discus thrower Ankush Punia in 2011. Ankush represented India at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Seema Punia would then move her training base to the USA and feature regularly in the American and the European circuit in the build-up to the London 2012.

The move worked well for her as she was once again busy hurling the disc beyond the 60-metre mark for the first time since 2006.

The improvement, however, wasn’t enough at the London Games as Seema Punia finished an overall 13th with a best throw of 61.91 metres.

After a lean phase, the Indian discus thrower returned to the limelight with a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Her maiden Asian Games title in Incheon, South Korea, soon followed.

Just when it looked like things were finally taking shape for the Indian discus thrower, the knee injury once again derailed her progress forcing her to skip the 2015 season.

Seema returned in 2016 with some big performances in the American circuit and qualified for a third Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. But at Rio 2016, Seema Punia was a shadow of her past self and finished a lowly 20th with a best effort of 57.58 metres.

Seema Punia managed to improve her performance in the coming years and defended her CWG silver medal at the 2018 event in Australia. She added an Asian Games bronze to that list a few months later.

Having qualified for her fourth Olympics with a 63.72-metre throw at the National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Patiala, the Indian ace will be keen on putting her best foot forward at Tokyo 2020.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Tokyo 2020

#n/a
Women's Discus Throw
Women's Discus Throw Athletics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Rio 2016

#20 r1/2
Discus Throw
Discus Throw Athletics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

London 2012

#12
Discus Throw
Discus Throw Athletics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Athens 2004

#13 r1/2
Discus Throw
Discus Throw Athletics