Focussed on Olympic qualification now: Sarita

Focussed on Olympic qualification now: Sarita

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 today.

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 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 today 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 returning 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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