Vikas resets his targets after Glasgow gold

Vikas resets his targets after Glasgow gold

A day after he put India’s imprint on the Commonwealth Games athletics programme here, Vikas Gowda reset his goals, like any champion performer would do.

“Obviously, I am very happy. I have been working hard towards this goal for a long time and having achieved it, it is time to move on and get to the next level,” said Vikas, speaking to Deccan Herald from Glasgow.

On Thursday, the 31-year-old had become only the second Indian male athlete after Milkha Singh to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, triumphing in discus throw with an effort of 63.64 metres. Milkha’s gold had come in the 440-yard race at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.

“I didn’t know that it was that long back that an Indian male athlete had won a gold,” said Vikas, who had won a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. “But it’s good that I have been able to break that long barren spell.”

Vikas had qualified for the final with a 64.32M throw on Wednesday but a rainy Thursday ensured that no athlete was able to unleash a monster throw, with the damp throwing circle posing problems. Vikas himself struggled initially, before finding his rhythm somewhat in the third round.

“The weather was good during the qualification round and I was hoping to build on my effort in the final. But it all changed suddenly. I knew the weather could change here quickly and was prepared for it. I have competed in similar conditions before but still it was difficult.

“My warm-up throws were not good and it took a couple of throws to find my rhythm. It was raining initially and then it stopped before it started off again. My best throw came in between,” said the man who had won the Asian Championships gold medal in Pune last year.

Cypriot Apostolos Parellis had taken the early lead with a 63.32 throw and Vikas trailed till the third round. The strapping Indian said he wasn’t too concerned. “I was just building up for a big throw and after the third round, I knew I had a good chance of winning the gold medal.”

Dedicating his gold to his parents and coaches, Vikas said learning to stay patient was the key to his success. “After the New York Diamond League meeting last month, I worked on my technique and also tried to be more patient in the ring, staying longer in the ring, not rushing my throws. It paid off yesterday. Patience was the key, especially in the conditions,” he said.

The Asian Games in Incheon City, South Korea, is his next big goal but before that Vikas will be competing in a couple of Diamond League meetings. “Doing well in the Asian Games is obviously my next target. And the Diamond League meets (in Birmingham and in Brussels) will help me towards that,” signed off Vikas.

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