Feels like I have just started my career, says 35-year-old Seema Punia
By Amanpreet Singh
(EDs: Repeating with spelling correction in 2nd paragraph)
Jakarta, Aug 29 (PTI) Seema Punia's career has got a second wind after recuperating from a nagging knee injury and the 35-year-old discus thrower feels that her career is far from over as she gears up to defend her gold medal won at Incheon in 2014.
There has been talks in some quarter about how long the four-time CWG medallist will continue but she herself confirmed that retirement is certainly not on her mind.
"This is not my last big event. Age is just a number. In discus throw, the strength only gets better with age and experience. I feel the real career will begin now," an enthusiastic Seema told PTI before a training session.
"I am achieving the goals set by my coach and the trainer. I have responded to the training that's why I got a medal (silver) at Gold Coast CWG. The target is to get a gold here. It just has to be my day. It's a good field with Chinese being my main competitors," Seema, who trained at a Newport beach in the United States ahead of the Games with coach Alexander, said.
So what are the goals set by her? "After these Asian Games, we have the Asian Championship, World Championship and the 2020 Olympics. The targets that once looked distant, now I find them closer," she said.
When asked what makes Seema confident at an age when strength and body reflexes go southwards, she replied: "For the last 10 years, my knee was troubling me. It never got completely healed and I was managing with it. It was hard to ascertain the injury but ever since I got treatment in Mumbai, it has healed. Now, I can jump without problem.
"Leg strength is most important for us. You can run with arms but throw will become good only with strong legs. Now I can perform jumps, push-ups and everything that my trainer tells me to do. So my confidence level is different now."
Asked to share her training regime, Seema was relucant.
"My training has changed because my Body Mass Index (BMI) has also changed in the last two years. I can't reveal everything but would say that it's like that the number of throws (during training) has gone down and focus is more on fitness," said Seema.
She also spoke highly of new track sensation Hima Das, who won a silver in women's 400m with a national record.
"Hima must be appreciated. She did the unthinkable. She is someone who has run just five times and has broken national record every time," she said