The Athletics Federation of India has put an end to the uncertainty surrounding discus thrower Vikas Gowda’s participation in the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships that is going to be held in Bhubaneswar from Thursday. The national federation cleared his name on Tuesday, a day before the tournament’s opening ceremony.
Reigning champion Gowda went through a trial at the Kalinga Stadium, where the tournament is set to take place, along with high hurdle athlete Siddhanth Thingalaya, who was also cleared to participate in the biennial continental flagship event. Winners of the tournament will get a direct entry to World Championship that will be held in London in August.
Some national coaches were of the opinion that Gowda, who turns 34 on Wednesday, was not in the medal bracket as he could only throw the discus to a distance of 57.79m. He will now, however, be hoping to win hat-trick of gold medals in the tournament that will finish on July 9.
“All athletes who were asked to report for confirmatory trials, including national record holders Vikas Gowda (discus
throw) and Siddhanth Thingalaya (110m hurdles), have been cleared to compete in the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships to be held at the Kalinga Stadium here,” the AFI said in a release.
“Gowda, who will seek to complete a hat-trick of AAC victories, and Siddhanth Thingalaya went through the confirmatory tests on Sunday since they had not competed in any domestic event in the run up to the Asian Championships,” it added.
“We are pleased with the results of the confirmatory tests for our athletes and are confident that the entire Indian squad will deliver high quality performances,” AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said.
“We have been keen to ensure that we enter a fit and competitive contingent. We are sure that the athletes will now fly the Indian flag high at this excellent facility in the Kalinga Stadium,” he added.