Udipi's Golden Girl Ashwini Akkunji still waiting for a sponsor

Udipi's Golden Girl Ashwini Akkunji still waiting for a sponsor

Ashwini- File photo

Ashwini wants to become the first Indian woman athlete to win an individual gold in the Olympics but for that to happen she said she needs money to compete in the European circuit and top IAAF events.

"I want to become the first Indian woman athlete to win gold in Olympics. I have switched on to 400m hurdles just six months ago and my timing is very good. I can only improve from here. With some improvement in my technique I think I can cut down my timing by another two seconds at least and that should put me in medal contention in London," Ashwini told PTI.

"I need to compete in the European circuit, in big events like Diamond League of the IAAF to improve upon my timing before the London Games. For that I need financial support but corporate sponsorship is not coming. I am looking for that," said Ashwini, who won gold in 400m hurdles and helped the 4x400m relay team to win a yellow metal in the Asian Games.

No now Ashwini has bit of a relief after Infinity Optimal Solutions (IOS) has offered her a deal of Rs 15 lakh for a year to become their brand ambassador.

IOS has taken the bio data of Ashwini and she has asked the company to give the details of the terms and conditions for the deal.

The 23-year-old from Siddapura village of Udipi district in Karnataka is upbeat that she can cut down a few seconds from her 56.15 effort in Guangzhou by reducing the number of strides between the hurdles and using both the legs to clear them.

Ashwini's leading leg to clear hurdles has been the left one since she first ran in a 400m hurdles in Kochi in May and she will work out along with her coaches to use right leg also to cut down her timing.

It is a common practice of world class hurdlers to interchange their leading legs during a race to preserve energy as using only one leads to loss of stamina towards the home stretch.

It also makes runners to adjust themselves whenever the number of strides between hurdles has been increased or decreased from what they used to have.

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