It has been a surreal week for me and the Indian Olympic contingent. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I have won the first athletics gold for India at an Olympics. When I look back, several thoughts cross my mind. While dedication, preparation, mental fortitude and execution are non-negotiable for a sportsperson, I have come to realise that time is the most potent guiding force in our lives. What if the Tokyo Olympics happened in 2020? What if there was no pandemic? Time has been my biggest ally. The whole of 2019 I was injured and had a surgery. I did not train, nor did I take part in the world championship and missed the all-important Diamond League. I was completely out of touch. It took the whole of 2020 to get back on track and prepare for the Tokyo Olympics. I know Covid has played havoc with people’s lives and ruined sporting calendars, but the pandemic was a blessing for me.