Discus thrower Vikas Gowda to reduce pre-Olympic workload

New Delhi: Reigning Commonwealth Games men's discus champion Vikas Shive Gowda has decided to cut down on his work load ahead of the Rio Olympics in August.

Vikas, who will be participating in his fourth Olympics, will be competing in fewer run-up competitions prior to the Games as compared to the past.

Vikas Gowda
Vikas Gowda

"I want to compete a little bit less than I have in the previous years. I’m looking to begin competing in a few weeks in July in some competitions in Europe and the main focus is Rio in August," Vikas was quoted as saying in a statement by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Friday.

The 32-year-old, who was born in Mysore but grew up in Maryland in the US, is the only Indian male athlete to win a gold medal in track and field at the Commonwealth Games in the last 50 years and is arguably the most consistent Indian athlete in recent times.

Standing at a towering six feet and nine inches, the star discus thrower said his passion for throwing helps him to stay motivated while training alone in the US, under former Olympic champion John Godina.

"There are definitely days that are harder than the others, but there’s nothing else I'd rather be doing," he said.

The national record holder with a best of 66.28 metres also shared his training regime in the US.

"I usually train five to six days a week. My training consists of throwing, weightlifting, plyometrics (jump training) and cross training. When I train I do it with lots of intensity and I try to put myself in the competition atmosphere. I want to be familiar with that feeling as much as possible," he said.

Gowda said the high standards for Olympic qualification in men's discus throw (65 metres) this time around is nothing new.

"The standards are always high. The only thing I have control over is my own performance. I don't worry too much on what other people are doing. My target for Rio is to put myself in a position to succeed and to execute to the best of my abilities on that day," he said.

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