| London: Asserting that she has qualified for the Olympics on her own, diminutive weightlifter Soniya Chanu on Sunday said she is not going to get intimidated by the presence of some of the big names.
"I know it is a huge and only best of the sportspersons are here. The competition is bound to be tough," admitted Soniya, who will be competing in 48kg category.
However, when asked if she would get intimidated by the some big stars, Soniya shot back, saying, "Why should I get intimidated? I qualified through Asian championship held in Korea in April. If I did not get overawed there where I had to make the cut, why should I be worried here?
"God has given me the chance to represent my country, I finished fourth with career best of 175kg in Korea. The field was very strong but I had confidence in myself.
"I`m a very confident person and will give my best. You must remember that I`m among the 14 lifters from across the world to have qualified for the Games in this weight category, which in itself is a big achievement," she added.
Pleased that she will be representing the country after India failed to make it in this discipline in the last Olympics at Beijing, Soniya said, "This is the first time after eight years that Indian weightlifters will be seen in action in the Olympics. Last time Indian lifters participated in the Olympics was in 2004 in Athens."
The 32-year-old from Manipur informed that there would be 14 weightlifters in total in her category, including two each from Thailand and Japan, while one would be from China.
"I have been doing well in the training and almost touching 175kg. I hope I will improve by the time my event is held on July 28."
Soniya`s coach Hansa Sharma expects her ward to give in 100 per cent during the competition.
"I am not predicting anything but I can say that she will give her best performance. However, if that would be enough for the podium finish I can`t say," said Hansa, adding that Soniya is mentally and physically very strong and if luck goes her way she can produce good result.
First Published: Sunday, July 22, 2012, 20:56