Lone Indian woman grappler in Olympics but Geeta not nervous
New Delhi: The lone Indian woman wrestler to qualify for London Olympics, Geeta Phogat says she knows the expectations are high from her but she doesn`t feel any pressure as she has full faith in her abilities.
"There are lot of expectations from me, but there is no pressure as such. I am confident that I can do good at the Olympics. I believe that if I can qualify for the Olympics, I have the skills to pull it off for the country at the London Games too," the 23-year-old Haryana-girl said before flying to Colorado Springs in USA for a 22-day long training camp late on Thursday night.
Geeta said training at US will definitely improve her performance.
"Colorado Springs is a very good place to train ahead of the Olympics. I have been there earlier this year also and the amount of practice and exposure we get there is really beneficial. We get to compete with different partners, learn different movements...It also helps us gain the necessary speed," she said.
Geeta beat Um Ji-Eun of Korea in the Asian Qualifying tournament in March to fetch the gold medal in the 55kg weight category and qualify for the Olympics.
Chief coach O P Yadav lauded Geeta`s approach to the game and said her mental toughness sets her apart from other competitors.
"She is very confident, I won`t comment on whether she is a medal prospect or not, but certainly she is mentally very tough and can go past any challenge," Yadav said.
Yadav, however, said a lot will depend upon the draw.
"Geeta has her bout on August 9, the draws will be declared on August 8, if Geeta gets a place in the top eight then certainly I can say that she will be a step closer to the medal," he said.
Yadav said the way the grappler was preparing for the marquee event in the camp at the Sports Authority of India`s centre at Patiala "she will not disappoint".
"Geeta has the ability to surprise and cause a few upsets. There are a total of 18 girls in her weight category, they are listed and we are watching their videos and analysing their weaknesses and strengths.
"Our emphasis is on opponent specific training besides conditioning Geeta, so that she peaks at the right time," he said.
Geeta said since she is the lone woman wrestler from the country to compete at the Olympics the entire support staff was paying a lot of attention to her.
"The practice has been going on fine. Since I am the lone qualifier from India in the women`s section so the entire support staff is focusing on me, which is really helping me great deal," said Geeta, who hails from a family of wrestlers with her father Mahavir Singh a known name in the fraternity.