V.K. Vismaya was the star of the Asian Games 2018, helping India win its fifth consecutive gold in the women’s 4x400m relay with her strong anchor leg in Jakarta. But as athletes get ready for track and field action in Hangzhou, the Kerala quartermiler is nowhere in the picture.
In fact, she is out of the national camp too.
Injuries and a loss of confidence, on her return, saw the 26-year-old struggle through this season. From an impressive personal best of 52.12s in the 400m in 2019, Vismaya could manage only a best of 54.65 at the Ranchi Federation Cup in July and slipped to 55.69s at the crucial Inter-State Nationals in Bhubaneswar.
With next year’s Paris Olympics being the big lure, Vismaya is back to the basics, starting all over again. She will be in action at the Tony Daniel memorial 67th Kerala State senior championships which begins here on Thursday.
“We have the National Games and the National Open coming up so I want to come back this year. I think I can get back to 53s slowly, step by step,” said Vismaya in a chat with Sportstar on Wednesday evening.
“That’s why I will be running the 200 and 400m at the State meet.”
Almost all the country’s leading quartermilers have had strange ups and downs this year. That could have offered Vismaya hope of getting back into the relay team for the Olympics.
“Last year, I had hamstring and shin bone injuries. Despite that, I did competitions, running with a tape in a few meets. I tried till the last moment, fought till the last meet,” said the Kerala athlete.
“The disappointment of missing the Asiad is there but there’s also the happiness that I went for one Asiad and got a gold there. And of course, there is still time, isn’t it.
Vismaya feels that despite their inconsistent performances, the Indians could win the women’s relay gold again and make it six-in-a-row.
“We didn’t do well in the Asian Championship because our first leg was a bit weak but there’s a change now for the Asiad. Prachi will be running the first leg, Aishwarya could be running the second and then it could be Vithya Ramraj and Subha doing the next two. It looks like that,” said Vismaya.
“If all of them can reproduce their individual best, they can win. But for some, it will be their first Asiad. So that pressure will be there.
“Himanshi has gone for the Asiad, I think she will be running the individual 400m, I don’t think she is in the relay.”
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