NEW DELHI: Discus thrower Vikas Gowda, who holds the current national record of 66.28m, officially announced his retirement from athletics on Wednesday. "After a lot of thinking and consulting I have decided to retire from athletics. I do not want to punish my body anymore and I want to focus on the next phase of my life," wrote Gowda in an e-mail to the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).
"It was an honor and privilege to represent India and I will forever miss it," he added.
Gowda, who finished eighth with a throw of 65.20m at the 2012 London Olympics, conveyed his gratitude towards the AFI for all the support he had received from them.
In the initial years of his career, Gowda was as a shot putter. However he later found his calling in discus throw, and in 2012, he broke the Indian national record with his all-time best performance of 66.28m.
A recipient of the by Government of India's prestigious Padamshree Award, Gowda also represented his country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, however failing to reach the finals as he finished 22nd in the qualifiers, with a throw of 60.69m.
In one of the greatest moments of his career, he clinched the gold medal for India in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, with a throw of 63.64m.
Adille J. Sumariwalla, President AFI, said, "Vikas had a great career as an athlete and his achievements speaks about his dedication and hard-work over the years. He has inspired a lot of athletes and I am sure he will continue to do that in his next phase of career. I wish him the best for future and thank him for serving Indian athletics as an athlete." (ANI)