Comeback man Ghamanda owes it to coach | india | Hindustan Times
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Comeback man Ghamanda owes it to coach

Soon after winning gold in the men's 800m at the Indian GP on Saturday, the first person Ghamanda Ram hugged was coach, Kamal Ali Khan, who has been responsible for his comeback to athletics.

india Updated: May 08, 2011 01:08 IST
Navneet Singh

Soon after winning gold in the men's 800m at the Indian GP on Saturday, the first person Ghamanda Ram hugged was coach, Kamal Ali Khan, who has been responsible for his comeback to athletics.

Winning the top spot in the season-opener wasn't on Ghamanda's mind. "My focus is to compete in 800m and not break records," said the middle distance runner from Jodhpur, who clocked 1:47.59 seconds.

Ghamanda was a picture of confidence in 2005, and his timing of 1:46.67s ranked him the country's best in the event.

He lost form after finishing fourth in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, and the dip coincided with a liver ailment. The next two years were spent running from one medical expert to another as his health didn't allow him to undertake strenuous training.

Instead of pondering over the time lost, Ghamanda's coach resorted to mental training. And it worked. "He emerged stronger, mentally and physically," said the coach.

Apart from Kamal, wife, Deepti, has been a pillar of strength. "When I was not training, my wife used to tell me, 'don't worry, you can't win medals everyday'. It was a huge motivation for me," recalled Ghamanda. Despite getting back to winning ways, Ghamanda doesn't want to push himself. "This year, I want to take it easy. I'll go all out next year," he said.