KRISHNA POONIA, 29
DISCUS Agroha, Haryana
SPORTING STYLE She positions her throwing arm to concentrate the energy from her 80 kg frame. She swings her upper torso to gather impetus and finally pirouettes, thrusting muscular power into the right arm as she unleashes the discus in the air. The flying disc lands at 64m, near her current personal best, but her husband and coach Virender Poonia worries that it might not be good enough for the Olympics.
HER STORY The first Indian woman to claim gold in the track and field event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Krishna Poonia didn’t always dream of a career in sports. A village girl, she was introduced to the game while in college. But with marriage at the age of 20 and pregnancy a year later, she gave up all hope of being anything but a homemaker. Her in-laws, however, wanted otherwise. They forbade the new bride from donning the veil and encouraged her to keep up her passion in sports. Six months after giving birth to her son Lakshya Raj, Krishna was ready to get back to her game and fulfil the dreams she and Virender had seen.
VANTAGE POINT In the Altius Track Crew Throwdown event in the US this year, Krishna smashed the existing national record of 64.64m with a throw of 64.76m. She has her eyes set on the 65m mark.
CHALLENGE AHEAD The season’s best is 68.89m, by Nadine Muller of Germany. Krishna will have to do much better than 64.76m to defeat Muller.
OLYMPIC RUN- UP In the past few months, Krishna has been able to better her personal best of 64.76m during training and is striving hard for a podium finish at the Olympics.
“My training keeps Virender and me away from our son. The only thing that will compensate for this lost time is a win at the Games.”