A dream come true for Aditi

A dream come true for Aditi

Anything is possible at Rio, says Bengalurean on her quest

A dream come true for Aditi

Over the last five years, Aditi Ashok has grown rapidly from being a teenage prodigy to the current face of women's golf in the country. Just 18 but oozing with talent, the Bengalurean added another accomplishment to her fledgling career after sealing her spot at the Rio Olympics.

"It's the greatest sporting event in the world and to be a part of it is an incredible feeling. It precedes all my achievements," a jubilant Aditi told Deccan Herald.

"Ever since it was announced that golf would be a part of the Olympics, my mom and I starting planning for this day. I started playing professional events as an amateur, competed in five Indian Opens, simply because I dreamt of playing the Olympics. I think my experience of playing with the pros despite being an amateur until end of last year helped me seal my ticket.

"It also feels good to be the lone woman golfer from the country at the Games. The amount of planning that has gone into this, only my mom and I know. It easily is one of my biggest accomplishments," added Aditi, who made it to Rio after placing 58 in the Olympic rankings qualifying list.

Aditi has been making heads turn since her junior days. An extremely hard-working kid who is accompanied by her mother Maheshwari for most events, Aditi won twice on the domestic pro tour while still being an amateur. She then, perhaps, made the biggest statement of her career when she topped the Q-School for the Ladies European Tour late last year. That sensational performance -- no Indian male or female has topped a Q-School -- is what Aditi feels will keep her in good stead at Rio.

"The LET Q-School had a lot of players from the LPGA. So that gives me the confidence that I can compete with the biggies. Golf, like any other sport, depends on what you do on that day. If I can play four solid rounds of golf, then anything's possible. Of course, some of the biggest names of the game will be there. I'm just going to go out there, stay positive and try to do the best I can."

Aditi, who desires to meet tennis great Roger Federer and sprint king Usain Bolt at Rio, said she'll continue to train like the way she normally does for the biggest event of her life till date. "I've been practicing very hard. I've met my coach Steven Giuliano -- based in Kuala Lumpur -- a couple of times. I've also had some serious sessions with my fitness coach Nicholas Cabaret -- based in France. I've been working with him to boost my fitness. I may play a couple of tournaments but really not sure at the moment. The preparations will be the same like I do before I go for any event."

DH News Service