New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) It will be the first occasion in the last two decades when any rider from India will feature in the Equestrian event at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics as Fawad Mirza, who had bagged a silver in the last Asian Games, will participate in the showpiece event later this year. Fawad is happy that he is the reason behind India getting a ticket to the Tokyo games in the discipline.
Fawad’s participation had been confirmed in November 2019, however, it was officially announced after the International Equestrian Federation announced its rankings on Tuesday. In the rankings, Fawad emerged as the leading point scorer in the Asia-Oceania zone and eventually sealed a berth for India.
Earlier, India had managed to seal an equestrian Olympic berth in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.
Speaking about his achievement, an elated Fawad told IANS: “I’m happy to fetch a quota for my nation in this discipline and I am ready to represent India there. It is a matter of great pride for me. Qualifying for the Olympics is a part of an entire process and so, many more things are left to be accomplished. Now, I have to participate in more qualification events and we will try to make sure that we reach Tokyo with full preparation.”
Fawad was under constant pressure to bag an Olympic quota after clinching a silver in the discipline at the Asian Games after 36 long years. The 27-year-old expressed that he enjoys pressure situations and hardly cares for such things.
“Olympics is always a major tournament for any player irrespective of the sport he plays. Undoubtedly, there will be pressure but I feel it helps you get better and compels you to do better beside keeping you focused. Pressure is something which motivates me and as soon as I wake up, it pushes me to train hard. Whenever I feel down, it helps me coming out of negativity and so I like such situations,” he expressed.
Fawad added that from now on his preparations will be a bit different depending on the quality at the event, specially the horses he uses as in equestrian events it matters a lot.
“Yes, the preparations will be different for it (Olympics) as its standard is say two to three levels higher than the Asian Games. It is quite difficult and so the training with the horses will also be different. Currently, we are doing the normal winter practises and trying to keep the horses fit and focusing to improve their base fitness. We will train with new horses in the middle of the season after preparing the new schedule and will try to keep the horses in their best possible condition so that they can perform well,” he concluded.