Krishna Poonia has medal to win and promise to keep

NEW DELHI Tue May 29, 2012 12:22pm IST

Krishna Poonia competes in the women's discus throw finals during the 17th Asian Athletics Championship at Amman International Stadium in Amman July 28, 2007. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed/Files

Krishna Poonia competes in the women's discus throw finals during the 17th Asian Athletics Championship at Amman International Stadium in Amman July 28, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Muhammad Hamed/Files

Related Topics

A statue of Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, is carried in a taxi to a place of worship on the first day of the ten-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai August 29, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

During Ganesh Chaturthi idols will be taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing, and will be immersed in a river or the sea in accordance with Hindu faith.  Slideshow 

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian discus thrower Krishna Poonia has no problem buying a T-shirt for her 10-year-old son Lakshya Raj, but the message he wants emblazoned on it gives her pause for thought.

Poonia threw 64.76 meters in an event in Hawaii earlier this month to break India's national record but when she spoke to her son by telephone thousands of miles away in Jaipur, all she got was a stern reminder.

"I have promised him I would clear the 65m mark and he called me to remind me that I have fallen short," 30-year-old Poonia told Reuters from Hawaii.

"I have promised him to achieve it in London so that he can fulfill his wish of wearing a T-shirt which will have 'Poonia Crosses 65 metres' written over it."

Track success at the Olympics has largely eluded India, the country's two most famous track stars - Milkha Singh and P.T.Usha - missed podium places by the narrowest of margins.

Singh missed a bronze in the 400m at the 1960 Rome Olympics after a photo finish left him fourth, while Usha suffered the same heartbreak 24 years later when she was placed fourth after a photo finish in the 400m hurdles final in Los Angeles.

While the IOC credits India with Norman Pritchard's hurdles silver medals in 1900, before it gained independence from Britain, the world's second most populous nation considers itself never to have won an athletics medal at an Olympics.

Poonia saw no reason why she should not dare to dream.

"It's a realistic dream. All I need is to touch the 65m mark, which should be good enough for a medal," said the 2010 Commonwealth Games champion.

American Stephanie Brown Trafton was the unlikely winner of the Olympic gold in Beijing four years ago after throwing 64.74m, a distance six of her rivals exceeded that year.

Upbeat about her podium prospects in London, Poonia sounded equally optimistic about India's next generation of throwers.

"Things can definitely change. I'm getting the required training and regularly competing with top class throwers. Now I know what it takes to win," she explained.

"It took me a long time to realise all these things. The juniors just need to be disciplined and dedicated. You can afford to miss your studies but missing even a single practice session is not an option."

Poonia is an example of sacrifice and dedication.

"I have been working really hard over the last 10-12 years. It was not easy to return after giving birth to a son but I never gave anyone a chance to question my dedication," said the two-time Asian Games bronze medallist, who is coached by husband Virendar.

"I had to make a lot of sacrifices. At times, I don't get to see my son for months. But of course I'm lucky to have my husband as my coach. After marriage, I was about to quit but he talked me out of it and whatever I'm today is because of him."

And her son?

"He started taking an interest after watching me win the Commonwealth gold. He understands it and now he insists on that T-shirt."

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Market Eye


Coal Block Allocation

Coal Block Allocation

Government urges Supreme Court to not cancel some 'illegal' coal mines  Full Article 

Modi in Japan

Modi in Japan

Japan and India agree to boost strategic ties at summit  Full Article 



Factory activity expands at slower clip in August.  Full Article 

Market Outlook

Market Outlook

Indian shares headed for correction, but outlook strong - BofA Merrill.  Full Article 

India Infrastructure

India Infrastructure

RBI rule handicaps India's infrastructure hopes  Full Article 

Book Talk

Book Talk

Reema Abbasi and a glimpse of Pakistan’s Hindu past  Full Article 

China Economy

China Economy

Retreat in China's PMIs heightens calls for policy easing.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage