Comebacks aren't easy, especially when an athlete is indicted of the gravest offence in sports just a month ago. But trust Richa Mishra to overcome all odds.
On Wednesday, the 27-year-old swimmer didn't really create waves in the pool, but she definitely grabbed eyeballs by clocking 9.11.09 minutes at the 800m freestyle preliminary heats at the Dr S.P. Mukherjee Aquatics Complex, 15 seconds better than her national-winning feat at Jaipur in August.
Coincidentally, her feat comes just a month after Richa along with two other swimmers, six wrestlers and two athletes had tested positive for the banned methylhexaneamine. Her 'B' sample too had tested positive.
"Of course, I'm satisfied with my performance today. I thought I could have bettered my personal mark of 9.10 minutes but considering what happened over the last month, I will take this result," she said.
"I'm looking forward to the 400m freestyle and individual medley events," she added.
Still cagey about describing how the last month panned out, she said, "For the last one month, I couldn't train properly while all my friends were busy preparing.”
"When I heard that I had been included in the squad for the Games, the first thing that I told myself was that I had to improve my timing. I was planning to go below 9 minutes today but still I'm happy," said Richa, adding that this was the first time she had taken to the pool since her 800m win in Jaipur.