Commonwealth Games gold medallist discus thrower Krishna Poonia is not aware of any $20,000 (R 9 lakh) winner-takes-all contest with world champion Dani Samuels of Australia but is ready for it if it materialises, her husband said on Monday.
Australian media reports said Samuels was hurt by Poonia’s pre-Games comment that the Aussie’s “poor form” was the reason behind her pullout from the CWG and she now wants a ‘revenge match’.
“A sponsor has offered $20,000 winner-takes-all, making it the biggest cash prize for a discus event in the world. The prestigious Diamond League offers $10,000 (R4.5 lakh) prize money, well we've doubled that to give Poonia her shot at the champ,” Australian media quoted Samuels’ coach Denis Knowles as saying.
Poonia’s husband and coach Virendra said they have not been contacted for such a contest so far but are ready for it, provided the Athletics Federation of India agrees to it.
“We have not been contacted as yet, I am just hearing from journalists. But we are ready if such a contest is happening,” Virendra said.
“We are leaving for NIS Patiala to train there for next month’s Asian Games. We have to take permission from the AFI if a proposal for such a contest is there,” he said.
“Krishna had beaten Samuels at a competition at Salinas at California in United States in 2008. So, we are ready for such a contest,” he added.
The Australian media reports said Sydney Olympic Park’s world-class athletic centre would host the contest and Samuels’ coach said he would appoint an agent to secure Indian television coverage of the duel.
Poonia became the first Indian track-and-field athlete to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 52 years.