Chandigarh, October 1
While Punjab celebrated the silver medal finish of middle-distance runner Harmilan Bains in the Hangzhou Asian Games, the athlete was busy assessing how she lost the gold medal.
Even before she collected her medal, Harmilan had already analysed the recording of the race. “I should have overtaken Marta Yota (bronze winner) earlier in the race. I missed out on gold,” she told The Tribune.
Harmilan finished in 4 minutes and 12.74 seconds, which was well outside her personal best timing of 4:05.39. The 25-year-old termed the race as “tactical”. “It was not at all about speed, it was a tactical race. My last lap came in 58 seconds. It was a close fight (with gold winner Winfred Yavi). Nevertheless, I still have the 800m event to make up for the miss and win a gold medal,” she said.
The journey to her maiden Asian Games medal had many ups and downs. “Last year was tough, I was in deep pain for two months and the doctors were unable to detect the exact problem in my right knee,” said Harmilan, who missed the Commonwealth Games and World Championships last year.
“After my knee surgery, I had a disagreement with my father about my rehab. We had an argument and I went for the rehab on my own. We didn’t talk for a while, but eventually had a patch-up,” she added.
When told that she bettered her mother’s timing in the Asian Games, Harmilan laughed and said: “Now I have something to tease her about.”
Harmilan’s mother Madhuri Singh had finished fourth in the 2002 Busan Asian Games by clocking 4:14.78. Madhuri then claimed the silver medal in the 800m race with a timing of 2:04.94. Harmilan’s father Amandeep Bains is a South Asian Games medallist in 1500m. “I will surely give my best in the 800m event. It will be for my country and my parents,” she said.
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