Circa 2012. Vikas Gowda finishes last in the discus throw final at the London Olympics. So disappointed was the 'gentle giant' that even onlookers felt for him. But on Friday night, the 31-year-old put all that behind him by winning a silver medal at the prestigious IAAF Diamond League event in Doha, Qatar. The Mysore-born, US-based Gowda registered a throw of 63.23 metres, but it was way below his personal best of 66.90 metres, the national record.
Gowda finished behind Poland's Piotr Malachowski, who took home the gold medal with a throw of 66.72 metres. Estonia's Gerd Kanter won bronze with a throw of 62.90 metres.
Gowda, who trains under the watchful eyes of his father, had won the bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou as well as silver in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
Gowda is also in the reckoning for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, but it must be said that he stands a very small chance. After all, he has little to show against his name after the London Olympics.
Even though Gowda was well below his best on Friday, the silver medal has come at a time when Indian athletes are gearing up to participate in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It must be mentioned here that Gowda has not been able to match his best in recent times. In fact, he finished a poor seventh with a moderate throw of 64.03 metres in the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow in 2013.
In the meanwhile, young Tintu Luka finished a poor sixth in the 800 metres event. She clocked 2:00:56, way behind gold medallist Kenya's Eunice Jepkoech Sum's 1:59:33. Chanelle Price of the US took the silver with a timing of 1:59:75 while Lenka Masna of Czechoslovakia clocked 2:00:20 to win the bronze medal. Two others — Janeth Jepkosge of Kenya (2:00:49) and Molly Beckwith-Ludlow of the US (2:00:55) — finished ahead of Luka.