After setting personal best, Ashwini eyes Asian meet in Kobe

After setting personal best, Ashwini eyes Asian meet in Kobe

“The wrist is almost okay. I can say that only a slight pain is remaining,” said Ashwini after a convincing win in a personal best time of 52.82 seconds. “I am really happy about the time, I was expecting around 54-plus,” said the 23-year-old, whose previous best of 53.30 had come at last year’s Inter-State meet at Patiala.

In the space of one year, Ashwini’s long strides had taken her from an unknown entity to a celebrity of sorts. Her sizzling runs at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games had triggered excitement all around, but the untimely wrist injury had hampered her training this season. The two races here -- semifinal on Saturday and final on Sunday -- had been real confidence-boosters, said Ashwini.

“I didn’t have a strategy, I just wanted to run my race, I didn’t want to expect much,” said Ashwini, who was watched by her father Chidananda Shetty from the stands. “She doesn’t come home, so we travel to see her,” joked the proud father.

“Now that I have run my best, I am hopeful of competing in the Asian Championships (in Kobe, Japan next month), though not in the hurdles,” said Ashwini, who is a brand ambassador for Corporation Bank now, having quit her job with the Indian Railways.

“I haven’t started training for hurdles yet, the fear is still there. Maybe by the World Championships (at Daegu in August), I will be ready for it,” said Ashwini, who had hurt her wrist while training for hurdles. “My target for the year is to run 55-plus in hurdles,” added the Asian Games champion, who has a best of 56.15.

Meanwhile, her coach Iuri Ogorodnik said Ashwini can make more progress in the three-week period before the Asian meet. “She isn’t fully ready yet but in the next three weeks, maybe she will be ready,” he said.

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