Vikas' selection is a mere formality now

Vikas' selection is a mere formality now

Vikas' selection is a mere formality now
The uncertainty surrounding the participation of ace discus thrower Vikas Gowda in the upcoming Asian Championships might turn out to be mere speculation.

Against the perception created, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) selection committee has acknowledged that Gowda's attempt of 57.79m was a reasonable one in the trials in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

The AFI had announced that trials before the Asian Championships would be a must for the athletes. Some of the athletes who were competing or based abroad had delayed trials scheduled on June 30 and July 2. The trials were referred to as “confirmatory trials”.

Following Gowda's trial on Sunday, the AFI president Adille Sumariwalla was quoted in the press statement as saying: “The results of all the trials are sent to Chairman of Selection Committee GS Randhawa for his perusal.”

It soon sparked speculation over the participation of Gowda, with news of some coaches being unhappy with his performance doing the rounds.

However, Randhawa, who till Monday afternoon was awaiting the results of the trials, found Gowda's performance to be satisfactory. “The 57.79 is a good effort, especially keeping in mind that he had just landed from the US and it was raining during the time of the trials,” Randhawa told DH.

Gowda, the 33-year-old US-based Karnataka-born athlete who holds the national record of 66.28m, was himself unhappy with his performance and had requested for another trial on July 4. He has a season best of 62.35m, achieved at Chula Vista, US, on May 27. He is currently No. 3 in Asia in 2017 behind Iranian Ehsan Hadadi (62.64m), Olympic silver medallist in 2012 and Malaysian Mohd Irfan Shamsuddin (62.55m).

The Indian team contains two other discus throwers, Dharamraj Yadav (season best 58.32m) and Kripal Singh (season best 56.57m). It, therefore, comes as surprise that there could be a doubt about the inclusion of an athlete who had thrown 57 metres while another one with less than that mark was already in the team. Moreover, Gowda has won the Asian title in the last two editions and is an Olympic finalist (2012) and a three-time World championships finalist.

Asked whether the trials were held for fitness or performance, Randhawa said: “A test is a test, which includes both fitness and performance.”

A senior AFI official, too, contended that Gowda's effort in the trials was “decent” and that there should be no problem in his clearance for the Championships from July 6-9. "Why would anyone have a problem with 57.79m.?" he said.

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