New Delhi: Gearing up to make his fourth Olympic appearance, India’s Commonwealth Games champion discus thrower Vikas Gowda says he will compete less in the run-up to the Rio Games to be fresh for the big event in August. The 32-year-old, who was born in Mysore but grew up in Maryland (USA), said he would participate in some European events next month.
“I want to compete a little bit less than I have in the previous years. I’m looking to begin competing in a few weeks in July in some competitions in Europe and the main focus is Rio in August,” Gowda said from his base in the US. Gowda is the only Indian male to win a track-and-field gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in the last 50 years and is arguably the most consistent Indian athlete in recent times.
Gowda said his passion for throwing helps him stay motivated while training alone in the US under former Olympic champion John Godina. “There are definitely days that are harder than the others, but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing,” said the six-feet-nine inches tall discus thrower.
The national record-holder with a best of 66.28 metres also shared his training regime in the US.
“I usually train five-six days a week. My training consists of throwing weightlifting, plyometrics (jump training) and cross training. When I train I do it with lots of intensity and I try to put myself in the competition atmosphere. I want to be familiar with that feeling as much as possible,” he said.
Gowda said the high standards for Olympic qualification in men’s discus throw (65 metres) this time was hardly a surprise for him.
“The standards are always high. The only thing I have control over is my own performance. I don’t worry too much on what other people are doing. My target for Rio is to put myself in a position to succeed and to execute to the best of my abilities on that day.”