Keshavan hopes to peak at `right time` for Sochi Games

PTI| Updated: Jan 23, 2014, 21:33 PM IST

New Delhi: He might have failed to defend his Asia Cup title, but luge athlete Shiva Keshavan is hoping to peak at the right time for the Winter Olympics, starting in Sochi on February 6.

The winner of Asia Cup gold in 2011 and 2012, Keshavan had to settle for a silver in Nagano, Japan last month.

"I have been training non-stop since the end of September 2013. I have not been home for over four months now. I wanted to use all the time on the track available to us. My physical condition is good, having undergone intensive training this year. I hope I can peak at the right time for the Olympic Games," Keshavan told a leading agency.

Keshavan, who has represented India in four Olympic Games, has had a scratchy season so far as his equipment hasn`t been up to the mark.

"This year unfortunately our equipment (sled) has not been working as planned, which caused certain set backs during the season, like not being able to retain the Asian Championship, as I had hoped and aimed for.

"Thanks to OGQ (Olympic Gold Quest`s) crowd funding campaign, we will be able to improve the equipment," he said.

The best-finish for Keshavan at the quadrennial event was in 2006 at Turin, Italy when he attained 25th place. The 32-year-old wants to better it this time around.

"I don`t know whether we will be able to capitalise on these efforts in such a short time for the Olympic Games. Seems like I have not been able to be one of the medal favourites for Sochi, but I will be giving it all I have. I have to make this my personal best performance," Keshavan said.

Keshavan has been preparing along side USA Luge team under the guidance of their Olympic medallist coach, Mark Grimmette, especially focussing on fine tuning his sled for the 1,400 metre Sochi track.

"The main training will be to fine tune the equipment for the Sochi track conditions. I have been training with the USA Luge team and coach, Olympic medallist Mark Grimmette. We will training together towards Sochi, specifically now that the World Cups are over. The Sochi track requirements are very different from other tracks, so we will be tweaking everything from now on for that," the luger from Himachal said.

"It is amazing how far we have come. For me, this is an achievement in itself. I hope my experience will add value to my performance and to the Indian team going to Sochi," he added.