HITS: Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medal
Misses: Not really. Skipped a lot of tournaments, including the Worlds and the Asian Games
After the London Olympics, injuries and niggles had slowed me down last year and the Commonwealth Games was the only major tournament where I had taken part. My decision to skip a few tournaments was also a conscious decision as it helped blood in young wrestlers. If you had noticed, the 22-year-old Praveen Rana was given the chance to prove his worth in my place in events like the Asian Games.
But that was last year, this year is very important for me. The qualifying tournaments for the 2016 Rio Olympics are scheduled to take place and our first major tournament of the year, the Asian Championship, will be held in Doha, Qatar, from May 6 to 10.
It is still some months away so right now I am only concentrating on the technical aspects like my moves on the mat. For the next 15-20 days I will be continuing with this routine only. It is only later that I intend to shift to power and stamina training regimen.
Once that is done I will be participating in at least two-three tournaments to get into the competition mould. Going to Colorado Springs is an option as we have been training there for three-four years, but we have to wait for a real plan.
The exposure trip will be key to our qualifications. Those are the tournaments where all the experimenting will take place. How much to attack, when to hold back, counter moves — you can train for these but the real test happens only during a bout. One thing we have to make sure is that we don’t get injured during these preparatory tours.
Also, I have to add some more kilograms. Right now my weight is hovering around 67-68 kg. Ideally, my off-season weight should be around 78 or so . But I will get there soon.
The win at the Glasgow Games, though good, was my first in the new weight division. But it did not serve me any great purpose other than everybody feeling happy that I had won the gold. You learn more in defeat because you analyse it as to what went wrong and where. The only good thing to come out of the event perhaps was the point that my coaching staff made — that was to gain more weight.