Poonia returns to action after long lay-off, aims London 2012



Poonia returns to action after long lay-off, aims London 2012 New Delhi: Laid low for six months by a knee injury, Commonwealth Games gold medallist discus thrower Krishna Poonia returns to action this week with her eyes firmly set on London Olympics.

Poonia, who picked up a knee injury during the CWG last October, also won a bronze in the Asian Games in China a month later and had been rehabilitating at the NIS at Patiala since February.

She skipped the two legs of Indian Grand Prix at Patiala (May 3 and 7) and the three legs of Asian Grand Prix in China last month.

Poonia returns to competition in the June 11-14 National Inter-state Athletics Meet in Bangalore with an aim to make it to the Asian Championships (July 7-10) in Japan and be in top form in the World Championships (August 27-September 5) in South Korea.

"I have been at the NIS Patiala since February but I was rehabilitating from my injury. I began full training around 10 days ago and I am feeling good to be returning to throwing at the National Inter-state," Poonia said.

"I will not push myself to limits at Bangalore and I am not setting any distance which I want to cross. I am taking this as a build up to my season which, of course, I am starting late due to the knee injury," she said.

She said her ultimate aim is to bring laurels for the country in the London Olympics.

"My ultimate aim is to do well in London Olympics and bring laurels for the country. I have enough time to qualify for the Olympics. I have to start slowly and not rush as I had been laid low for long," said Poonia, who is the only Indian woman to have won an individual gold in track and field in the Commonwealth Games.

"I am hoping I can be in the Asian Championships and looking forward to doing well in the World Championships," said Poonia.

Poonia, who has a personal best of 63.69m, has already cleared the 'B' qualification standard of the World Championships -- 59.50m -- though she is yet to clear the 'A' standard of 62m. The qualification period for the World Championships started in last October.

She threw the discus to 61.50m at the Commonwealth Games and 61.94m at the Asian Games where she finished third.

"I have already qualified for the World Championships and my focus in the coming few months would be to go past the Olympic qualification 'A' standard of 62m," she said.

World champion Dani Samuels of Australia had challenged Poonia to a high-profile duel last year but the contest had been deferred for this year. Poonia said she had not heard of it from the side of the Australian.

"I have not heard any update regarding that. Olympics is next year and so I think Dani is busy with her preparations and I am also will also be busy this year," she said.

PTI