She is back from a sabbatical and how. Hammer throw was her forte and she ruled the circle ever since she hurled the iron to 61.79m - a national record - in 2002.
Hardeep Kaur, participating in her first event in more than a year in India, not only managed to attain the qualification mark for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, she also created a meet record during the 50th National Inter-State Athletics Championships here on Thursday.
Back from New Zealand, where she was pursuing a course in international sports studies at Palmerston North, Hardeep cleared 61.21m, 1.21m clear of the qualification mark of 60m. The meet record also stood against her name at 60.79m.
The Punjab girl, however, felt her performance was below par. "It felt short by 80cm," she said.
Even while pursuing her studies, Hardeep did not lose touch with the sport. "My coach, James Oliver, at the institute has been a great help," she said. "Even in New Zealand, I have been participating in their national meets and even won a gold,” said Hardeep.
Manju Bala of Rajasthan and Ritu Rani of Uttar Pradesh won silver and bronze respectively.
Another field event, discus, enlivened a rather dull evening on the track. A mere .22m separated winner, Harwant Kaur, and Krishna Poonia in the women's event. Both cleared 60m, but they were not happy with their efforts. Harwant felt her 60.66m was way below her target of 63m, while Krishna opined she could have hurled the discus to more than 63m. Nonetheless, hopes of a medal at the Commonwealth Games have brightened
On CWG controversies
Controversies surrounding the Commonwealth Games that have sullied the event's image, have had little affect on the athletes' preparations. Though the day's happenings in the national Capital were a point of discussion, the athletes said they were not bothered by the turn of events.The only worry was whether the Games would be held. “Sometimes, we think whether the Games would be held or not,” said an athlete.