Fo­cussed on Olympic qual­i­fi­ca­tion now, says Sarita Devi

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - SPORT - Press Trust of In­dia ■ sports­desk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Provisional sus­pen­sion may be keep­ing her out of the ring but L Sarita Devi’s in­domitable spirit re­mains in­tact and the Asian Games bronze-medal­list boxer says she is fully fo­cussed on mak­ing the cut for 2016 Olympic Games.

“Suc­cess to me comes from con­di­tion­ing the mind; just as I do be­fore en­ter­ing the ring. I en­vi­sion the contest a day be­fore the ac­tual bout and put all pres­sures at bay,” said Sarita at In­dia Sports Expo on Fri­day.

The Ma­nipuri has been pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pended for her emotionally-charged protest at the Asian Games where she re­fused to ac­cept the bronze medal after los­ing a con­tro­ver­sial semi­fi­nal bout.

The In­dian has since apol­o­gised for her outburst but it has not been enough to en­sure her par­tic­i­pa­tion in the World Cham­pi­onships start­ing Novem­ber 13 in Jiju Is­lands, Korea.

“I am try­ing to for­get what hap­pened at In­cheon dur­ing the semi-fi­nals. A big­ger chal­lenge stares me in the face, that of qual­i­fy­ing for Olympics and I will de­vote all my en­er­gies to meet that goal,” she said.

Asian Gold Medal­list Priyanka Pawar, Asian Ar­juna Awardee for­mer in­ter­na­tional Ta­ble Ten­nis player Indu Puri and Bas­ket­ball ex­po­nent

THE MA­NIPURI HAS BEEN PRO­VI­SION­ALLY SUS­PENDED FOR HER EMOTIONALLY-CHARGED PROTEST AT THE ASIAN GAMES WHERE SHE RE­FUSED TO AC­CEPT THE BRONZE MEDAL AFTER LOS­ING A CON­TRO­VER­SIAL SEMI­FI­NAL BOUT

Jayasankar Menon were also present at the func­tion.

The four had as­sem­bled at the Ma­jor Dhyan­c­hand Na­tional Sta­dium for an in­ter­ac­tive ses­sion on the sec­ond day of the Expo or­gan­ised jointly by FICCI, Min­istry of Skills De­vel­op­ment, En­trepreneur­ship, Youth Af­fairs and Sports and the Sports Au­thor­ity of In­dia.

“Till t oday not a sin­gle In­dian ath­lete has won an Olympic me­dial. To make this a re­al­ity we re­quire more and bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties for train­ing if we are to shave off the mi­cro seconds which to­day make a dif­fer­ence win­ning a medal and re­tur ning home empty handed.

“We also need coaches of in­ter­na­tional stan­dards who through their re­search train the ath­letes for the big­ger com­pe­ti­tions,” said Priyanka, part of the 4x100m women’s re­lay team at the Asiad.

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