Harmilan Bains, hailing from the town of Mahilpur in Hoshiarpur district, has not only made her country proud but has also etched her name in the annals of Asian Games history by clinching a silver medal in the 1500m event at the ongoing 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou.
For Harmilan, this victory carries a deeper significance as it upholds a cherished family tradition of excellence in athletics. Her father, Amandeep Singh, had secured a silver medal in the 1500m event during the SAF Games in 1996. Meanwhile, her mother, the illustrious Madhuri A Singh, achieved silver in the 800m event at the Busan Asian Games in 2002 and later clinched gold in the 1500m at the SAF Games held in Pakistan in 2004.
Harmilan’s remarkable achievement not only keeps the family legacy alive but also adds a new chapter to their illustrious sporting history. Remarkably, she is the sole female athlete representing Punjab in the Indian contingent at the Asian Games, and she’s a rare talent who has qualified for not one but two events.
Harmilan’s father, Amandeep Singh, exuberantly shared his joy, emphasizing that this is just the beginning of her journey. He expressed confidence in her abilities, stating, “I have talked to her, and after winning silver in the 1500m, she’s confident of securing victory in the 800m event too. It’s a moment of jubilation, not only for our family but for the entire nation.”
Harmilan’s journey in the world of athletics began at an early age, as she trained alongside her mother, the Arjuna Awardee Madhuri. Her prowess became evident when she competed in the CBSE school games, setting national CBSE games records in the 800m and 1500m events while she was still a class XII student in 2018. Remarkably, these records still stand unbroken, a testament to her extraordinary talent. Additionally, she holds records in her name at the Khelo India University Games.
In 2021, Harmilan achieved another remarkable feat by breaking Sunita Rani’s national record of 4:06.03 minutes in the 1500m event with an impressive timing of 4:05.39 minutes.
Harmilan, currently serving as a Class I officer at the RBI in Chandigarh, didn’t let her professional commitments deter her pursuit of athletic excellence. She diligently practiced the 1500m with her father and the 800m with her mother in Patiala. In preparation for the Asian Games, she embarked on a four-month training stint in the UK.
As Harmilan continues to shine on the Asian Games stage, her story serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes across the nation, reaffirming the power of dedication, family support, and unwavering determination in achieving remarkable sporting success.