Psychological tips by Olympian and seasoned discus thrower Seema Punia (Antil) to Kiran Baliyan a day prior to women’s shot put competition in Hangzhou paid rich dividends. On Friday, the 24 years old from Meerut, considered a sporting goods hub in Northern India won a bronze medal on her debut at the Asian Games in China.
Seema suggested Kiran to stay focused during the competition and not panic on seeing performance of other competitors. “I told her (Kiran) not to miss this opportunity as the next Asian Games will be held after four years,” Seema revealed. “I told Kiran that to stay in the medal race she should aim for a minimum 17m throw.”
The advice proved like a balm to Kiran’s mind. On her way to the bronze medal, the thrower from Uttar Pradesh started with a throw of 15.42m. She improved to 16.84m in her next attempt and was successful in crossing 17m (17.36m) in her third attempt, which fetched her a bronze medal.
Kiran acknowledges Seema’s support on winning the bronze on Friday in Hangzhou. “Seema Didi’s vast experience was a great support to me. The Asian Games medal will further enable me to push hard and win more laurels in future,” Kiran said after winning bronze from Hangzhou.
Kiran’s personal coach Robin Singh was excited that she was successful at the continental platform.
“Kiran’s bronze medal at the Asian Games will inspire young girls in the region to take up athletics,” Kiran’s personal coach added.
Kiran’s parents were also happy that their daughter had won a medal at a bigger stage.
Kiran’s mother often had to travel with her daughter during domestic competitions, while her father (Satish), who works with the Uttar Pradesh police department as head constable had to take leave and take care of the house.
“We are all happy that our hard work and sacrifice paid off,” Kiran’s mother Bobby said.