CWG a good prep for shot-putter Saurabh Vij
Vij was elated but far from hopeful about his medal prospects in the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.
New Delhi: Shot putter Saurabh Vij is relieved after being retained in the Commonwealth Games squad following the National Anti Doping Association's (NADA) decision to lift his provisional suspension. But the ordeal has caused him a lot of mental agony and now he wants to make the best of the opportunity to prepare for the Asian Games.
A day after he was included in the side, Vij was elated but far from hopeful about his medal prospects in the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.
"The last 30 days have been the worst phase of my life. I never ever thought that I would have to undergo such mental agony for no fault of mine," Saurabh told IANS on Thursday.
Saurabh, who tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexanamine, was earlier provisionally suspended by NADA. But the suspension was lifted by NADA's disciplinary panel after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) asked NADA to take a lenient view as methylhexanamine has been shifted from 'non-specified' to 'specified' substances category in its 2011 list of prohibited substances.
"The WADA decision shows there was something wrong right from the start. How can so many athletes in the country test positive for the same banned substance? The athletes were completely innocent and I am lucky to be a part of the Commonwealth side," he said.
Saurabh threw the shot put to 20.65 metres in the Delhi State Athletics Meet in July, and it is the season's second best throw among the Commonwealth Games athletes. Canadian Dylan Armstrong with a throw of 21.58 metres has the best throw.
Jamaican Dorian Scott (20.55m) and Australian Scott Martin (20.10m) are third and fourth while another Indian Om Prakash is fifth with his season's best of 19.99m.
Despite having one of the best throws of the season, Saurabh was not hopeful of finishing on the podium.
"Suspension was the last thing I was expecting in the run-up to the Games. I didn't practise for the first 15 days and even when I started practising my mind was preoccupied. I just couldn't concentrate. I will surely try to win a medal, but it will be a tough competition," he said.
Saurabh, however, said he would use the opportunity to prepare for the Asian Games in China in November. "I have to make the best of this opportunity. We will have the Asian Games in November and that is one meet where Indian athletes have a lot of medal hopes. My aim will be a gold medal at the Asian Games," he said.
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) Director M.L. Dogra was also happy with the inclusion of Saurabh in the athletics squad.
"The boy has undergone lot of mental agony. I hope he comes up with a great showing," he said.
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