HN Girisha’s rise from anonymity to a house-hold name following the silver medal in the high jump event of the Paralympic Games in London a little over a month ago is a fairytale stuff.
Not entirely satisfied with the second best finish, the 24-year-old said that a gold was on its way as he sets his eyes on the 2016 Games in Rio. “I am not done. I will win a gold medal in the next Olympics,” said the athlete from Hosanagara in Hassan district.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Malleswaram Sports Foundation (MSF) which felicitated him with a Hyundai i10 car and his coach Satyanarayana with a cheque for Rs 51,000, Girisha said: “It is a great honour to be recognised for my achievement by the Malleswaram Sports Foundation. A bigger honour for me was to share the stage with so many big players who have represented and done wonders for India in the past.”
“It would have been nice to receive such accolades and such support before itself but one cannot expect that,” noted Girisha when asked if such recognition beforehand would have helped him perform better at the Games. “At least now, we know that Paralympics exists and that someone called Girisha won a silver medal for India. These honours are not just things that will keep me pushing for better results in the future, but these are also things that will give hope to millions of people like me or even normal people to take up a sport and push to do well.”
Girisha is in no mood rest on his laurels as yet. “I just came back but I am training already. I have a lot of dreams and for those dreams to come true I will need to work harder than ever. I have actually begun training for the next Olympics. As of now, I’m doing some light training and things like that so I can be in perfect shape in four year’s time,” Girisha, who leaped to a height of 1.74 metres in the F 42 category to land the only silver for India in the paralympic event, explained.
“I also have the IPC World Championships (July 20-29) coming up in Paris soon. I am going for nothing less than a gold medal there,” he said.