Despite a silver medal haul in the women's 48 kg category at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, Soniya Chanu was inconsolable and offered her apologies to the national coach Harnam Singh for not living up to his expectations.
The hosts opened their account with Chanu and Sandhya Devi, who won silver and bronze medals respectively in the 48kg category yesterday at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium.
But disappointment was writ large on Chanu's face, who knew that she was done in by her own demons.
"I am extremely disappointed with my performance. It was not my day and I think it was one of my worst effort ever. I am sorry for my coach Singh who had pinned high hopes on me. We all were expecting gold medal for me but all I can say I tried my best," said Chanu, a 30-year-old inspector with the UP Police.
"I had always cleared my lifts but I don't know what happened yesterday. You can't give excuses when you know it's an event like Commonwealth Games. I am feeling very bad that I could not win the gold," she said.
Chanu lifted 73 kgs in her first attempt in snatch but failed to lift 76 kgs in her second and third attempts. In clean and jerk, she lifted 94 kgs in her first chance, but was left with no option but to make an attempt at lifting 103 kgs in her next two attempts, to beat Nigeria's Augustina Nkem Nwaokolo, who clinched the gold with a total of 175.
The bronze was won by India's Sandhya Rani.
National coach Harnam Singh said he was not a satisfied man and hoped to clinch remaining two golds in the offing.
"We were sure to get a gold but Soniya failed to lift 76 kgs, which she was suppose to and that cost us the gold. In an event like Commonwealth Games, you need to live up to the expectations. May be, the luck was not on our side yesterday. I am hoping to win other two golds," said Harnam.
When asked whether the faulty kit provided to lifters by the Games Organising Committee has anything to do with the performance, Harnam said the shoes provided to the team were not of proper size.
"There are some problems in the kits. Even the ceremonial kits and the shoes are not proper. We are giving one size, they are giving us another size. Even trouser, T-shirts are not of proper size. That has affected our lifters' performance yesterday," said Singh.
He also expressed his unhappiness over the food supplements provided to the lifters.
"Food supplements form an essential part of any sporting discipline. We lifters need good strong food. You need to have that extra nutrition. Let's hope someone listens to us," he said.