All Jats Night: Discus trio make history
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Krishna Poonia hasn't seen her eight-year-old son Lakshya Raj in nearly six months. The sacrifice — the price of a gruelling training schedule — paid off on Monday. Poonia, 28, threw the iron disc to a distance of 61.51 metres to lead an Indian 1-2-3 in the women's discus final at the Commonwealth Games.
Krishna's gold was the first for India at the Commonwealth Games since Milkha Singh won the 440 yards race in 1958. After Australian world champion Dani Samuels cried off due to health and security fears, the Indian trio of Poonia, Harwant Kaur and Seema Antil were tipped to win at least two of the three medals.
As it happened, defending Commonwealth champion Elizna Naude of South Africa could throw only 57.61 m, and Poonia threw 61.51 in her first attempt. Harwant threw 60.16 in her third attempt, which won her the silver; Antil achieved 58.46 in her second attempt to take bronze — her second Commonwealth Games medal after a silver at Melbourne 2006.
The three women are fierce rivals on the national circuit. Antil and Poonia aren't the best of friends, especially after the former returned a positive test just after the 2006 Games. Poonia had then taken potshots at Antil, but today, no bad blood showed.
As the packed house brought the roof down, Poonia shouted over the din to tell a reporter that that she was happy that all winners were from India. "And all from Jat families," she added. And when Poonia couldn't come up with a great answer when asked if she would have won the gold had Samuels been around, it was Antil who jumped to her defence. "Even if Dani Samuels had participated today, Krishna would have won," she said.
Krishna's husband-cum-coach Vijendar Singh was over the moon. "Her family has 200 buffaloes. I am sure all the milk she drank as a kid has made her strong," he joked.