Discuss Thrower Vikas Gowda, the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, has retired three months ahead of the Asian Games, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) announced on Wednesday.
Gowda and the AFI haven’t always seen eye-to-eye after reports surfaced that the thrower was injured in the lead-up to the Rio Olympic Games but hadn’t reported it to the national federation.
AFI had rejected his request to skip the trials for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and wanted him to participate in the Inter-State Athletics Meet in Guwahati in June to be eligible for the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.
“After a lot of thinking and consulting I have decided to retire from athletics. I do not want to punish my body anymore and I want to focus on the next phase of my life,” Gowda explained his decision to retire close to the Asian Games.
Gowda has by far been India’s best discuss thrower for almost a decade with the 34-year-old representing India in four Olympics. He became the seventh Indian athlete to reach an Olympic final in the 2012 London Games.
He also holds the national record of 66.28 metres which he achieved in 2012.
In his first Olympic Games in Athens 2004, Gowda threw 61.39 metres to finish 15th in the field. Gowda attended the University of South California where he was the national NCAA collegiate champion in Discus Throw for 2006.
Finishing a disappointing 22nd at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Gowda went on to win the bronze medal at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. He also capped off the year with a silver in New Delhi at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
At the 2012 London Games, Gowda finished eighth with a throw of 65.20m. He won a silver at 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, following up his bronze four years earlier.
His last major medal arrived at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneshwar where he bagged a bronze medal.
Before emerging as a champion discus thrower, Gowda started his career as a shot putter. His best performance in shot put is registered at 19.62m which he achieved in 2006 in Atlanta.
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