Reigning discus throw champion Vikas Gowda doubtful starter for Asian Championships

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Reigning discus throw champion Vikas Gowda doubtful starter for Asian Championships

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SportsCafe Desk

07/03/2017

Discus thrower Vikas Gowda may not be able to defend his title at the Asian Athletics Championships starting on July 6 in Bhubaneswar, after registering a disappointing 57.79 m effort in the trials. The Athletics Federation of India conducted the trials to check the fitness levels of the players.

The 32-year-old Mysore-born athlete, who holds the national record of 66.28 meters, scooped gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after achieving a distance of 63.64m. He rose to the prominence by winning the gold medal at the 2013 Asian Championships in Pune before following that up with the Commonwealth gold, Asian Games gold, and a silver at the 2015 Asian Championships. However, due to the fact that the Indian hasn't participated in any competitive events this year, the AFI were forced to organise trials on Sunday to assess his fitness level - which were below par as Gowda finished with a disappointing effort of 57.79m.

It was also reported that some of the national coaches were also not happy with Gowda after his average performance at the Rio Olympics, where he failed to made it to the finals, and the matter had already been referred to the selection committee. An AFI official revealed that the reigning champion has asked for another try on July 4, saying that he would be able to do 60m by then. But, the federation is unlikely to give him another chance as it may amount to giving him a preferential treatment.

“Some of the coaches are not happy with Gowda’s performance. His 57.79m will be at seventh or eighth if you see at the final results of the last edition in Wuhan in 2015. So, it will be difficult for Gowda to be given an entry to the championships,” an AFI official said to PTI.

AFI President Adille Sumariwalla, too, cleared that every athlete should prove their fitness before confirming their participation in the Asian Athletics Championships.

“The results of all the trials are sent to Chairman of Selection Committee GS Randhawa for his perusal,” Sumariwalla said.

National 110m record-holder hurdler Siddhanth Thingalaya also went through the trials on Sunday as he had not competed in any event on the domestic circuit this season. The 26-year-old Thingalaya clocked 13.48 seconds in the Altis Invitational at Phoenix in Arizona recently but the result is yet to be ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations. If the time of 13.48 seconds gets approved by the parent body, then he will be able to qualify for the World Championships to be held in London next month.

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