AP/PTI
Gowda 2nd Indian Male to Bag CWG Gold in Athletics After Milkha Singh

Vikas Gowda gave India its first athletics gold medal of the 20th Commonwealth Games by winning the men's discuss throw event, here today.

He became the second Indian male athelete to win a gold in Athletics at Commonwealth Games after legendary Milkha Singh who bagged a goal at the Cardiff CWG in 1958.

The 31-year-old US-based Indian pocketed the gold with an effort of 63.64m, way below his personal best effort of 66.28m, under incessant rain at the Hampden Park.

The silver went to Apostolos Parellis of Cyprus who threw the discuss to 63.32m, while the bronze was bagged by Jason Morgan of Jamaica with an effort of 62.34m.

2010 Delhi Games gold medaliist Benn Harradine of Australia finished fourth with a below-par effort of 61.91m.

The incessant rain did not help the athletes' cause in any way as the throwers failed difficulty in gripping the discuss and were continuously seen rubbing the discuss with a towel.

Gowda, who won a silver in the 2010 Delhi Games, registered his best effort in his third attempt, which proved to be enough for him to ran away with the yellow metal.

But the 63.64m effort was way below his personal best as well as his season's best effort of 65.62m.

Incidentally, Gowda's gold is the third for India on the eight day of the competition today after Babaita Kumari and London Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt clinched two yellow metals in wrestling.

Meanwhile, India's Tintu Luka failed to qualify for the finals of the women's 800m race after finishing seventh in the eight-contestant first semifinal.

Luka could only manage a timing of 2:03.35s to finish on the pentultimate position in her semifinal round.

Defending champion Krishna Poonia qualified for the final of the women's discuss throw event despite finishing 11th in the qualifying round with a best effort of 51.36m.

She began with two foul throws and that might have put her under pressure. Her final throw cleared 51.36m and that was enough for her to qualify for the final round. Most of the competitors struggled under inclement weather after incessant drizzle hit Hampden Park today.

Another Indian in fray, Seema Punia also made it to the final round after finishing second with a best throw of 58.44m.

Gold medal favourite Dani Samuels of Australia topped the qualifying round with a best throw of 64.53m.

Meanwhile, Gowda, who won gold in the men's discuss throw event, said he had trained under rain and the inclement weather at the Hampden Park did not have affect him much.

"When I walked out and saw the rain I knew it was going to disrupt a lot of people, but I have trained for that. I have trained in rain. I have trained with a wet ring," he said after winning the gold.

"No words can describe it. I am so happy this has been on my calendar for the whole year. I was second last time in Delhi, so I definitely wanted to improve upon that. And now I am so glad it is over, it is a very stressful process," he said.

Asked how much he has improved in four years since he won the silver in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, Gowda said, "I am four years older and four years better. I threw 63.69m in Delhi and 63.64 today, even in these conditions, so I am pleased with that."

Gowda said his focus would be now on the upcoming Asian Games and Diamond League meetings.

"I have the Asian Games coming up and a couple of Diamond League series games. So I will be going for the gold then too."

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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