New Delhi: Biding adieu to a successful 2010, the Indian women althletes, having done the nation proud with their performances in Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, now promises to bring many more laurels to the country in the coming years.
Keen to improve on their present performances and do better, Indian women athletes spoke about their future plans with an eye on London Olympics.
“We have been training under foreign coaches. And there is a need to have foreign coach if we want to do well in London Olympics 2012,” said teen sensation archer Deepika Kumari on a sidelines of a function to felicitate India’s women gold medallists in the Commonwealth Games.
On the occasion, apart from Deepika, other gold medal winners of CWG -- world no 2 badminton player Saina Nehwal, discus thrower Krishna Poonia, shooter Anisha Syed and badminton player Ashwini Ponnappa were also present.
“In fact, it would be really good if we can also practice in London for some time as wind is a big factor in archery. Here the range we have in Kolkata does not have much wind, so it is completely different from what we are going to face in London.
“So, unless we get used in those windy conditions it would be difficult,” added Deepika, who lost the bronze medal by a whisker to Un Sil Kwon of North Korea in the Asian Games.
The 17-year-old girl from Ranchi, who however, was a part of the team, which bagged the bronze in women’s section, further insisted that Indian archers need to work on some other aspects as well if they want to compete with the world’s best.
“In the Asian Games, I could see the Koreans and observed that their mental conditioning and the venues where they train makes a lot of difference during a big tournament. We still have a long way to go as far as our training, place of the training and diet are concerned,” said the CWG gold medalist in women’s individual archery event, adding that she would love to have a Korean coach.
On the other hand, another gold medal winner of CWG, shooter Anisha Syed does not even have a coach till now.
“Whatever I have achieved till now is without a coach. But now Jaspal Rana will start giving me training. But the dates are yet to be worked out with him,” said Anisa, who along with Rahi Sarnobat clinched gold in women 25m standard pistol pairs event.
“Though I never had a coach I did not speak to either the federation or SAI because I felt that I was not senior enough to go and talk to them. But now, I am looking forward to improving my technique with tips from Jaspal Rana,” said the ace shooter.
Talking about her immediate goal, Anisa said, “I am looking forward to doing well in the upcoming National Games to enhance my chances of selection in the World Cup.”
Meanwhile, a below par Krishna Poonia, who settled for a bronze in women’s discus throw in Asian Games after taking everyone by surprise after claiming the gold in the CWG, blamed the poor show on her injury.
“I am pretty satisfied with my Asiad Performance because I was injured and still I could do well. And now I will start my training again from next month. Though I will take the suggestion from my doctor once before that,” said Krishna.
Determined not to leave any stone unturned, Krishna said, “I am keen to train in USA and Australia, so that I can give my best in the London Olympics.”
Talking about her the much touted duel with Australia’s Dani Samuels, Krishna insisted, “I am game for it in the future but it would not be in Febuary. Date would be decided later.”
Another golden girl of CWG, who also failed to live up to the expectations in the Asian Games, losing early, Ashwini Ponnappa admitted that the level of competition was extremely high at the Asian Games.
“The competition level was very high at Guangzhou and we were a little short of practice. But I would say that China are not unbeatable. We can certainly beat them. We have to be little more smarter when we play them,” said Ponnappa, who bagged gold for India in women’s doubles badminton event along with Jwala Gutta.
“But for that I think we need to be more focussed and train a lot more. We have to play a lot of tournaments so that we can qualify for the 2012 Olympics. If we work a little more harder and play tactfully we can achieve a lot more,” Ponnappa concluded.