Reigning Asian Champion Vikas Gowda has been India's number one discus thrower for some time now, and has represented India three times in the Olympics. But his participation for Rio Olympics 2016 is in doubt as the athlete sustained a shoulder injury. Now, his flight to Rio depends on his fitness.
The Indian sportsperson, who was one of the first Indian track and field athletes to qualify for Rio last year itself, has not taken part in any event in 2016. With Gowda based in US, his shoulder injury cannot be assessed by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), and has had to depend on the athletes' father, who believes it is only a 'minor shoulder injury'.
"I have spoken to Gowda's father and he said his son has suffered a minor shoulder injury. I cannot send a doctor to US and assess Gowda's injury. I have to believe in what his father says. His father says it's a minor injury and he should be fine for Olympics. I have to believe in that," Press Trust of India quoted AFI President Adille Sumariwalla as saying.
"He (Gowda) will have to prove his fitness sometime before the start of Olympics. It will not be a trial but he will have to prove that he is fit to take part in Olympics. Gowda will undergo some kind of throwing session from which we can know he is fit. We will get to know this from his father and the coach."
Even if Gowda is declared fit enough to participate in Rio, he will have his task cut out, with top discus throwers set to feature in the quadrennial event. The 32nd ranked Indian made it to the finals of London Olympics, and finished eighth, but can he finish on the podium in Brazil?