Was battling personal problems: Nirmala

Was battling personal problems: Nirmala

Indian quartermiler Nirmala Sheoran qualified for the Asian Games after an impressive performance in the women's 400 metres. PTI File Photo.

Indian quartermiler Nirmala Sheoran arrived back on the scene after a year of "battling personal problems" to qualify for the Asian Games with an impressive timing of 52.36 seconds in the women's 400M heats of the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships here on Thursday.

Since last year's World Championships, Nirmala had not run a competitive race and her whereabouts and training place were not known to the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).

But on Thursday, the Haryana athlete did not show any signs of rustiness of a long break as she came first by clocking 52.36 in heat number two at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium here. The Asian Games qualifying time for this event set by AFI is 52.47.

"I am feeling good at my timing but I am not still 100 per cent, I just recovered from typhoid," Nirmala, who has a personal best of 51.28, told PTI after the race.

Nirmala, who resurfaced in the last few months, said she was battling personal problems during this phase.

"I did not do any suspicious thing. Because of personal and family problems, I went into depression after World Championships. There were illness in my family and other personal problems. I wanted to compete at the Commonwealth Games but then I suffered typhoid," she said.

Asked if she had informed AFI about her training place, Nirmala said: "No, I did not give any information to AFI. After the World Championships I was at my village in Dadri (in Haryana) which is near Rajasthan and later I was training alone with my coach Vijender at Bhiwani in Haryana.

"I started training only a month back. There is some time before the Asian Games. I hope to do well in Asian Games."

Her coach Vijender said the target is to win gold in the Asian Games.

"Poor girl, she had family problems. She had typhoid two months back and there were a lot of negative reports about her. Naturally, there was pressure on her. She has come out of all these. Our target is to win gold in the Asian Games. Let us see," said Vijender.