Stars dream big as Olympic test nears

first_imgIt was a rare moment when five elite sportspersons shared the stage and expressed their hopes and aspirations about the upcoming Olympics.Shooters Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang and Ronjan Sodhi, archer Deepika Kumari and boxer Vikas Krishan will be some of the individuals on whom India will pin hopes for adding a glorious chapter in the country’s sporting history.The five sportspersons were in the Capital for the announcement of Samsung’s sponsorship of the Indian contingent for the London Olympics.The five athletes, as well as boxer Laishram Devendro Singh, have been designated Samsung Olympic Ratnas and all their training expenses till the Games will be borne by the multinational.Bindra, India’s lone individual Olympic gold medallist, is preparing for his fourth Olympics and knows what it takes to succeed under the most intense pressure.”The trick is to detach oneself from the hype and focus on performance,” the rifle shooter said. “Concentration is of utmost importance as what you do on the big day counts.”Narang will be in action in three events – 10m air rifle, 50m three position and 50m prone – at the London Games and wants every possible shot at Olympic glory.”I am a pretty good multi- event shooter and am looking to put my best foot forward. I still need to work on the kneeling position, which is my weakest area. However, I am confident of sorting it out in next few months,” he said.It will be Narang’s third Olympics and he hopes to be third time lucky, like Bindra.advertisementSodhi has had a dream 12 months in his career and the double trap shooter hopes to crown his achievements with an Olympic gold.”Rankings are momentary. It is medals that will remain with me. I just aim to give my 100 per cent each time, regardless of the stature of the tournament,” the world number two said.”It will be my first Olympics and means a lot. I am ready for the challenge,” Sodhi promised.Deepika, still a teenager, already has two Commonwealth Games gold medals in her kitty and is ranked among the top three in the world.”Concentration is vital in our sport. I do a lot of physical training, yoga and visualisation,” she said. “We also do target practice for eight to nine hours a day.”Each archery contest lasts 20 minutes which seem to go in a jiffy. We have to work for years to be at our best during those 20 minutes. The Koreans are our biggest threat due to their strength and confidence. We need to be at our best to get the better of them,” Deepika said.Vikas has recently stepped out of the shadows of the likes of Vijender Kumar and Akhil Kumar. But he does not hide the fact that Bindra is his sporting idol for ending India’s long gold medal drought at the Olympics.”I don’t want to run down anybody, but in my opinion, he is the best sportsperson of the country,” the bronze medallist at the recent boxing world championships said.Vikas has recently changed his weight category from 60kg to 69 kg and the boy from Bhiwani believes the move up will help his chances.”In the 69kg class, boxers have more power but are lacking in speed, which is my strength. I want to capitalise on it,” he said.The youngster had the guests in splits when he added in a lighter vein: “In boxing, one has to take blows regardless of the weight category in which one competes. I would rather do so without sacrificing on my favourite delicacies.last_img