Ashish aims Olympic qualification in first attempt

New Delhi: Ashish Kumar, who opened a new chapter for Indian Gymnastics by clinching the country`s first ever medal in the Asian Games, has now set his sights on making the cut for next year`s London Olympics and is confident of qualifying in his very first attempt.

The 20-year-old from Allahabad, who won a silver and bronze in the Commonwealth Games followed by a bronze in the Asian Games, has been training at the Basildon Sporting Village in Essex for the qualifiers beginning with the Tokyo World Championships from October 7 to 16.

"We start training in the morning and continue till 4 in the afternoon. After that there is a one-hour lunch break and then again we are back to training till 7 in the evening," Ashish told reporters over phone from Essex, where the four-member Indian men`s team is training since July 8.

"After my success at the CWG and Asian Games, I am working hard to win an Olympic medal for the country. Expectations have risen following my success at the CWG and Asian Games but I am only focused on qualifying for the London Games.”

"Here at the Basildon Sporting Village, training facilities are top class with a state-of-the-art gymnasium and an Olympic-level swimming pool. We are preparing hard for the World Cups and Olympic qualifiers. World champion Japan will come here in September to train and get acclimatised to the conditions. So overall we are getting the much-needed international exposure," Ashish said.

Along with Ashish, Rakesh Patra, Ikrar Hasan and Alok Ranjan are the other three Indians in the camp which started on July 8 and will go on till August 30.


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