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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Non participant Dani Samuels brag challenges Krishna Poonia

Gabriele Reinsch  must be laughing the recent news of challenge outside the arena.   The 19th Commonwealth Games were held in New Delhi from 3rd to 14th October 2010 and total of 6081 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations competed in 21 Sports and 272 events.
This good looking person who has won Arjuna Award in 2010 and has Maharana Pratap Award, Maharana Mewar Award, Bhavani Singh Samman and Bhim award in her kitty is in news.  

Quite often there are eternal sullen grumblers who raise their voice not able to accept the victories of others.  Quite often Aussies think themselves to be superiors.  It is common sense that to beat somebody and prove your superiority, one need to participate in the event – but  Dani Samuels thinks otherwise.  Dani Samuels in 2009 became the youngest ever female world champion to win the discus event. 

The discus throw is an event in track and field athletics where athlete throws a heavy disc.  This is an ancient sport evidenced by 5th century BC Myron statue.   This event is a routine part in modern track and field meets.  The women’s competition was added to Olympic in 1928 itself.   The throw is made by the competitor from a slightly recessed concrete-surfaced circle of 2.5 m dia.  The thrower initially would be facing away from the direction of the throw, spins counter-clockwise building momentum and releases the throw.  The throw must land within a 34.92 degree arc marked by lines on landing zone and the thrower must now exit the circle until the discus has landed.   The distance from the front edge of the circle to where the discus has landed is measured, and distances are rounded down to the nearest centimetre or half-inch. The competitor's best throw from the allocated number of throws, typically three to six, is recorded, and the competitor who legally throws the discus the farthest is declared the winner. Ties are broken by determining which thrower has the longer second-best throw.

The best ever throw by a male Athlete is 74.08 M (243 ft) by Jurgen Schult of Germany in 1986;  the Women record holder is Gabriele Reinsch also of Germany with 76.80 M of Germany.   Perhaps one event where female has outsmarted male !!!!!!!!! (see the concluding para)

Krishna Poonia delighted the Nation when she led an Indian clean sweep in the women’s discus final on 11th Oct 2010 winning Gold with a throw of 61.51 meters.    This woman born in Hisar Dist of Haryana in 1982 and married to Virender Singh Poonia has been bringing laurels for the country.   She shot into prominence winning bronze in 2006 Doha Asian Games.  She won Gold in 46th Open National athletic championship.  She contested in 2008 Beijing Olympics but failed to reach the finals.    She is the first Indian woman to win Gold in CWG and first Indian after Milkha Singh  who won Gold in Men’s 440 yards race in 1958 Cardiff CWG.

Whether she really had a challenge in CWG is not known; off the field her rival Dani Samuels has thrown a challenge - $ 20000 contest at that.  May be  she was provoked by the comment of Poonia that she had skipped CWG due to poor form and not due to health and safety reasons.

Poonia has responded that she is ready for the contest though she is focussed on winning Gold at Asian games.  Dennis Knowles, who coaches Samuels, said the Australian athlete skipped the CWG because she feared she might get sick. He refuted Poonia's claim, saying Samuels had been in her best form in 2010.   But the fact cannot be refuted.  Australian Cricket Team is here playing in smaller venues like Vizag and Margao and a larger contingent of her country men did participate in the CWG also.  Why can’t she would remain an obvious poser ? 

Anything outside the sporting arena is childish.  A fair challenge for any athlete is always on the ring and not outside the ring.  In earlier days it was spoken that Kingkong and Tharasingh used to revel in such verbal slinging outside the ring only to generate more hype and interest for the viewers.  The only sport where only provoking gets prominence is WWF – not in regular Sport events.  

Aussies are known for bragging and they thoroughly misbehaved after the 2-0  Indian victory over their National team, which was reported in Indian Express and other papers.    Reports indicated that the Aussie CWG contingent ran riot during the closing ceremony indulging in arson and bad mouthing Sachin Tendulkar, though this was denied by the Aussie mission dismissing that nothing of that sort happened.   Australia's Commonwealth Games boss Perry Crosswhite denied involvement of any Australian athlete in the vandalism at the Games Village.  That the incident has become quite serious was evident from the fact that External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had to step in to cool tempers. Krishna sought to downplay the incident, saying it was a minor issue.

Poonia’s husband and coach rightly responded stating that it has been a gruelling year for the athlete, she required rest and if Dani has any challenges in mind, it has to be at a neutral venue.   Rightly so, because this should not in any way compromise her Asian games participation.   

On record the medal winning performance of Krishna Poonia was 61.51 M.  Her personal best has been 63.69 M in April this year, Samuels has thrown over the distance with personal best of 65.84.  Her best throw in recent times was 61.43M. Krishna had beaten Samuels in a competition in California in 2008 and she was beaten by another Indian Seema Antil at the Melbourne Games in 2006.

To draw an analogy,  Sachin is the only batsmen to have scored a 200 in a One dayer, yet India could lose chasing a total less than 200 – as in any game it is that performance on the field on that day matters.  Forms and records at best could only be a pointer.    In the boxing ring, Vijender was the hottest favourite to win Gold but was penalized at the fag end and lost the bout narrowly. 

An athlete can decide on their own on participation but to blame the security is just not right.    

Yes 76.80 is farther than 74.08 but Women throw a 1 kg discus while men throw a 2 kg discus.  You can conclude on your own………….

Sampathkumar S

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