Proud to have maintained legacy: quartermiler Poovamma

Proud to have maintained legacy: quartermiler Poovamma

M R Poovamma

India’s 4x400M relay women were a proud group following their gold medal exploits in the Asian Games.

The quartet was relieved to continue the legacy of gold in the event, despite the challenge imposed by Bahrain sprinters. MR Poovamma, the senior of the young lot, believes if the group can be kept together, there can be a hope of medal even in 2020 Tokyo Games.

The 28-year-old quartermiler from Mangaluru is the oldest among the quartet of Sarita Gayakwad (24), Hima Das (18) and VK Vismaya (21). She is also the only one to have featured in the previous edition. Poovamma has rarely lacked in drive. She approved the system that has been put in place of blending exposure trips abroad with competitions. The quartermilers had trained in Poland before the Asiad under the experienced gaze of Galina Bukharina- India’s 400m and relay coach.

“The system which we have in place now is really good. Galina mam has been a really good addition to the coaching team. We all could see the improvement. She would introduce something new in training everyday. We would never know what we will be doing the next day. It helped us to deal with the uncertainty we face in a race. If we could keep up with such performance, we can have hope in Asian championships and Olympics. We now need to cut the timing to 3:25s or 3:24s,” said Poovamma, who had participated in Rio Games.

The relay team had clocked a timing of 3:28.72 to grab their fifth successive gold in the event in Asian Games. Poovamma admitted there was pressure. “We knew we just had to run for gold. We have been training together for the event, and I respect the AFI’s decision to keep the non-campers out. Earlier we had decided to finish with Hima but we changed the strategy to counter Bahrain. Hima gave us a great start. She is never nervous and encourages me also. She has a great attitude, she listens to advises. I am glad I could keep up momentum she generated,” she said.