For discus thrower Krishna Poonia and her coach and husband, Virendar, every moment spent on the field is marked by sacrifice. For the last few years, the two have been away from their home in Churu (Rajasthan) for months — training abroad and participating in competitions, which also keeps them away from their eight-year-old son.
“Success doesn't come cheap and we are aware of that. To win a medal in a major competition like the Commonwealth Games, you have to work hard for years. But living away from our son makes it difficult,” Virendar, a former national-level hammer thrower, says. “Krishna has been away from him since he was one-and-half-years-old. He now stays with my parents.”
Having worked hard for nearly two years, Krishna is hoping to reap the rewards at the Games. She achieved her season’s best of 63.69 metres at Chula Vista, California, in April. This puts the Asian Games bronze medallist in third place among CWG athletes, behind world champion Dani Samuels of Australia (65.84m) and South Africa’s Elizna Naude (64.49m).
Krishna says she has worked hard and planned with her coach to win a medal on home soil. “This is the biggest event India has organised and winning a medal will be special. The sacrifice we have made for the last many years will be worth it.”
Her training for the Commonwealth and Asian Games started in November last and included a 75-day training-cum-competition stint in Portland (USA) under Mac Wilkins.
“We have built her strength slowly for a peak period of one month in October-November so that she can do well in the CWG and Asian Games to be held later.
“The plan included giving her heavy load for three weeks followed by low load for a couple of weeks. In the heavy load period, we tried to build strength and improve her technique. The load was reduced gradually for competitions. I am happy that Krishna has achieved the targets set for her,” says Virendar.
Krishna trains for seven hours daily, with a day’s break in a week. She begins her training around 6 am by jogging for an hour.
The training session includes special exercises and workout in the gym. In the evenings, she mostly works on her technique.
Krishna will be going abroad for a short training stint in September before returning home for the CWG.
Then, it will be time to justify her staying away from her son.