It was a big challenge to beat Bahrain, says M.R. Poovamma

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It was a big challenge to beat Bahrain, says M.R. Poovamma

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SportsCafe Desk


Following the Indian women's relay team's brilliant gold feat in the 4x400m relay event at the Asian Games, athlete M.R. Poovamma has revealed that it was a huge task to defeat Bahrain. This was also quite unbelievably India's fifth consecutive gold in the women's 4x400m relay event.

Given the history India have in the women's 4x400m relay event at the Asian Games, it would have been labelled as a failure, had the quartet came back with anything but a gold medal, according to Poovamma. Further, the experienced athlete has also been of the opinion that the present team has a lot of potential in it to take it beyond Asian Games.

“Everyone ran a perfect race. The baton exchanges were flawless. It was a big challenge to beat Bahrain, but we did it. A medal is fine for any other event, but not for the women’s relay team. We are used to gold. Anything less would have been treated as a failure,” said Poovamma.

The whole race, however, was strategized by coach Galina Burakhina, who made the most appropriate placements, considering the players. Hima was placed up front and V.K. Vismaya had the position for anchoring.

“Coach Galina had taken the national federation into confidence and had its approval. We knew about the plan only on the morning of the race. Hima gave us a big lead. I improved on it and the other two runners had to be at their best, which they did, not thinking about the gold but focusing purely on the run,” said Poovamma.

The Indian women's team, consisting of Hima Das, M.R. Poovamma, V.K. Vismaya and Saritaben Gayakwad, had won the gold, after clocking 3:28.72s. The victory has been considered grand as the Indian team defeated Bahrain, which was being anchored by Salma Nasser, World Championship silver medalist.

“I was so tense. I really ran hard in the last 50 metres, as I knew Salwa’s abilities. She has a personal best of 49.08s for the 400m. It was joy when I crossed the line,” said Vismaya.

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