Saina`s trip to Hong Kong funded by Olympic Gold Quest

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010, 22:25 PM IST

Mumbai: Ace Indian woman shuttler Saina
Nehwal`s golden run in the Hong Kong Super Series tournament
was funded entirely by the Olympic Gold Quest founded by
sports legends Prakash Padukone and Geet Sethi.

"Saina`s trip to Hong Kong, as well as those of her
coach Bhakar Babu and physio, was entirely funded by the
Olympic Gold Quest. It was all arranged within two days of her
requesting the same," said former All England Badminton
champion Prakash at a media conference today to launch OGC`s
new initiative "Power your Champion" here.

Prakash said timely help given to a sportsperson can
make a huge difference.

"Perhaps government funding had ended this year with the
Asian Games. This is where we are different and help players
by cutting down on the bureaucrats hurdle as much as
possible," the shuttle legend said.

OCQ, with Prakash, cue wizard Sethi, former national
table tennis champion Niraj Bajaj, chess ace Vishwanathan
Anand and tennis champion Leander Paes on its board, honoured
two of its stablemates - rifle shooting ace Gagan Narang and
five-time women`s world boxing champion M C Mary Kom.

Narang, who won four gold medals at the Delhi
Commonwealth Games in October, said, "This year has been a
dream run for me as I won 16 medals including ten gold, three
silver and three bronze medals".

"OGC has helped me focus on my sport by taking care of my
other requirements whenever I needed," said the ace Hyderabad-
based marksman.

Mary Kom, who fought in a higher weight class than she
is used to at the Asian Games in Guangzhou where she could get
only a bronze in the 51kg, said it was not difficult to
graduate to a higher weight category.

"It`s not difficult to play in a higher weight category.
Unluckily I lost in the semi finals of the Asian Games (to
two-time world 52kg champion Ren Cancan of China), but next
time I would be ready," said the Imphal-based boxer.

"I want to fulfill the dream of winning the gold medal
in the 2012 Olympics (in London)," she added.

OGQ`s COO and former India hockey captain Viren Rasquinha
said that two new sportspersons have joined the initiative.

"Woman 100m hurlder Gayatri Govindaraj, 19 years of age
and a junior national record holder and a senior national
champion, and pistol shooter Annu Raj Singh have been roped
in. We already have 23 athletes who have won 27 medals in CWG
and AG, including 12 gold," he said.

About the new initiative "Power your Champion", Rasquinha
said it was basically to make OGQ into a mass movement.

"If Rs 100 per month is given to OGQ by 10 lakh Indians
OGQ can support 2000 talented athletes at various levels," he
said.

"We have roped in six young talents with a view at the
2016 Olympics. But further down we are aiming at the 2020
Games," he declared.

PTI

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