Davinder Singh Kang
Unable to take the pressure of a World Championship Final with a body that was on the edge of collapsing, India's Davinder Singh Kang, the only Indian finalist in the 2017 World Championships, crashed out of the top eight with a best throw of 80.02M. That was not enough for a top-eight finish, which would have gotten him another three throws and a chance to improve his position.
Overall 12th, Davinder was the best performer for India in a World Championships where no other Indian athlete entered the final.
Emotions broke loose later when Davinder directly accused the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) of trying to keep him away from the World Championships. "Nobody probably knows that the AFI didn't want me to participate in the World Championships," he said. "They harassed me constantly asking me to withdraw from London as I won't be allowed to participate here and that the IAAF would ban me."
Davinder had tested positive for marijuana and as per the rules an athlete needs to give an explanation as to how it got into his system to the home federation and NADA. "I explained to everybody how marijuana got into my system. But the AFI kept insisting that I should back out from London."
Davinder Singh Kang
He explained the frustration of having to go through such harassment. "I have good friends who ensured that I didn't break and supported me against the AFI," said Davinder.
Up against some of the best throwers in the world, he needed guidance in those tense moments before the final and asked the deputy chief coach RK Nair to have Neeraj Chopra sit in the stands as both had trained together. "But he didn't agree and sat there himself. For a man who has never seen me train, what help will he give me? And it's not just me, it happens to a lot of athletes who have to do with make-shift coaches."
Let down and emotionally brittle, Davinder looks forward to healing his body and then start training for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. The Army man believes he let the nation down by not standing on the podium or finishing in the top six.
"The training will be more punishing for me," he says. "I have to win medals for India in javelin and I will do it."
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