Unable to get his act together, India’s Vikas Gowda ended ninth in the discus throw final of the 15th World Championships in athletics on Saturday.
Vikas, who was seventh in the two previous championships, was hoping to go one better here but it was quite a struggle for the Indian champion on the day. He could throw only 62.24 metres, a far cry from his top performances this season, leaving him completely crestfallen.
“I am not sure what happened,” he said. “A lot of little things went wrong. I just didn’t feel myself out there and I was struggling right from the beginning,” said Vikas after his poorest throw in a major championship since the Olympic Games in 2008.
Vikas had a best of 65.75 metres this year but after starting off badly, he was left with plenty of catching up to do. The 32-year-old’s first throw measured just 60.28 metres, putting him under pressure. The second one clattered onto the cage and after that foul, he delivered a 62.24M throw in the third round that kept his hopes alive for a while.
The Indian was seventh among 12 starters at that point, with the top-eight after round three getting three further throws. Swede Daniel Stahl then moved up with a 64.42, pushing Vikas to eighth. A tense wait ensued before Poland’s Robert Urbanek, the last one to throw, let fly a 64.14, pushing the Indian to ninth place, and out of the reckoning for three further attempts.
“If I had got that third throw in the first round, things would have been different,” rued Vikas, who revealed that he was quite sick on the eve of the competition. “It must be what I ate, I felt like I might go down with flu yesterday. I was feeling quite okay today but out there, my legs wouldn’t move,” he said.
Poland’s Piotr Malachowski, the silver medallist in 2013, won the gold with a throw of 67.40 while Philip Milanov of Belarus came up with a national record of 66.90 for the silver. Urbanek made it two medals for Poland, picking up the bronze with a 65.18.
Results: Discus throw: Piotr Malachowski (Poland) 67.40 metres, 1; Philip Milanov (Belarus) 66.90, 2; Robert Urbanek (Poland) 65.18, 3.