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Vikas Gowda aims to sign off with success at 2018 Commonwealth, Asian Games

Discus thrower Vikas Gowda is contemplating retirement, but wants to sign off by winning the titles at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games

other sports Updated: Jul 07, 2017 13:56 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Asian Athletics Championship,Odisha 2017,Bhubaneswar 2017
Discus thrower Vikas Gowda is keen on calling it a day by winning the titles at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.(HT Photo - Arabinda Mahapatra)

India’s ambassador in men’s discus throw, Vikas Gowda plans to call it a day in the 2018 season, but he wants to sign off by winning the titles at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

A product of US collegiate competition, Vikas Gowda, 34, had been the most consistent of all the Indian thrower at the international level. His absence will certainly create a vacuum as none of the current lot of top Indian throwers have shown the potential to cross the 60m mark.

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However, the issue of injuries may have been one of the reasons that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games isn’t on the agenda for Vikas Gowda.

According to his father Shive Gowda, who was here to witness the Asian Athletics Championships, it’s time for Vikas to focus on other things in life. ‘’He (Vikas) isn’t working, but focusing on athletics. There is a big offer from a company. A time has come when you need to move on to other spheres of life. It has been longer than a decade of training hard, day in and day out,’’ the elderly Gowda told HT.

Shive Gowda, father of Vikas Gowda, attends the Asian Athletics Championship in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. (HT Photo - Arabinda Mahapatra)

On Thursday, Vikas Gowda failed to retain his title. He eventually finished third with a throw of 60.81m and also failed to qualify for the Worlds. It will be the first time since 2005 that he will miss the World Championships. He has participated in four Olympic Games starting with Athens 2004.

In 2014, he became the second Indian male athlete to win gold at the Commonwealth Games. India’s Flying Sikh Milkha Singh had won gold in 440 yards in 1958.

But the international thrower has been struggling since 2016. He had qualified for the Rio Olympics, but was unimpressive, failing to cross the 60m mark.

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Since then, there has been a fitness issue, which was perhaps why he had to undergo confirmatory trials like other top athletes ahead of the continental meet. The elderly Gowda, however, wasn’t complaining. “It’s part of the job; we are okay with the system,’’ he said.

Instead of aiming for the global meet this season, he has made plans to focus on the 2018 season. ‘’We don’t want to strain at this moment, but (want to) train hard for next season because Vikas is coming back from a knee operation. He has recovered but still there is a concern as he can’t put too much stress when rotating in the throwing arena,’’ said Shive Gowda.

To regain top level fitness, Shive Gowda said, ‘’It will take at least six months of hard training, conditioning and weight training to achieve good results in future. That’s why we have made plans for the Commonwealth Games in April,’’ he said.

First Published: Jul 07, 2017 13:55 IST