'Time to move on and explore new things'

'Time to move on and explore new things'

Vikas Gowda was a satisfied man after he decided to call time on his career. DH PHOTO/SRIKANTA SHARMA R

A day after he had made one of his biggest career decisions, Vikas Gowda sounded very relaxed and at peace with himself. At 34, the champion discus thrower, like many of his ilk before him, has realised that time is not on his side. Understandably, there is a tinge of sadness but he leaves a satisfied man, having scripted several success stories for Indian athletics on the international stage. “It is time to move on and explore other things in life,” the Mysore-born Vikas says as he looks back on his career in this interview with DH. Excerpts:

How did you arrive at this decision?

I have been thinking about it seriously over the last one month. I have been training, I have been trying to make a comeback. But it wasn’t working. I decided then that I shouldn’t punish my body anymore. I do feel sad about it but it is time to move on. I have been here for 20 years, working with a single purpose. It has been my main goal in life. Now it is time to take the same mentality to another field.

What has been your best moment?

For me, probably London (Olympics) in 2012 was my best. Also the 2014 Commonwealth Games (when he won the gold). London was my best competition – throwing 65.20 in qualifying and doing well in the final which was one of the best in Olympic history. Physically and technically, 2012 was my best season overall.

Commonwealth Games also was a big goal for me, and after the silver in Delhi (2010), winning the gold in Glasgow was a big thing. The crowd created a great atmosphere, also in Delhi.

And the bad moments?

I don’t think about the bad moments – they were all part of my learning experience. Perhaps not knowing how to throw properly in the early part of my career, that was tough. I also would have liked to do well at the Asian Games, that was the goal this year but it didn’t work out. Overall I am very satisfied.

What was the turning point then?

You can say moving to train under (former world shot put champion) John Godina (at the World Throws Center in Arizona) in December 2009 was a big shift. It helped me to move to the next level. I would say that training there helped me to move to the Olympic level.

How would you like to be remembered as?

I would like to be remembered for my consistency and my work ethic. I have always managed to be close to my season’s best at most of the big competitions – the Olympics and the World Championships. To perform well at the top level close to six years, that is pretty good.

What are your plans now? Any thoughts to become a coach?

I plan to go back to my studies, do my MBA, getting back to the university.  I don’t have any plans to coach as of now. I have been in track and field my whole life. I want to experience life outside of it now.