Bhubaneswar: India continued their fine run at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships, winning four gold medals so far on a rain-hit second day of the competition here. India’s quarter-milers — both men and women — sensationally grabbed a gold medal each in the space of less than five minutes to consolidate the hosts’ lead in the medals tally on Day Two.
Nirmala Sheoran clinched the yellow metal in the women’s 400m, while Mohammed Anas took gold in the men’s 400m. P.U. Chitra finished on the top of the podium in the women’s 1,500m race and Ajay Kumar Saroj won gold in the men’s 1500m. Gowda says he Will come back stronger. Form and fitness have eluded him in the last couple of years, but top Indian discus thrower Vikas Gowda has not given up and hopes to be back to his best next year.
Gowda, who turned 34 two days back, took bronze on the opening day of the event with an effort of 60.81m which was well below his own best. His best each year since 2004 has been above 64m but since the beginning of last year it has become difficult for him to cross even the 60m mark. “For the second part of my career, I had maintained a very high standard but the last three years have been very tough with a lot of injuries. I am feeling better and I think five-to-six months of consistent training on my body will take me back to where I was earlier,” said Gowda.
“I think next year will be better for me. There is the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. I hope to do well in these events.” The US-based Gowda suffered a knee injury just before the Rio Olympics and had a disappointing outing at the biggest stage of all as he failed to make it to the final round with a best throw of 58.99m at the qualifying round. Many in the Athletics Federation of India feel that Gowda had not revealed the exact nature of his injury.
This time, the AFI wanted to make sure that all the athletes are fit for a big event like the Asian Championships and Gowda was called for a trial here. He underwent the trial on Sunday and could only throw 57.79m. His place in the team was rendered doubtful but cleared just a day before the start of the event. He, however, had a throw of 62.35m in his home base.