It’s my dream, my life to win a medal at Olympics: Deepika Kumari

For Deepika Kumari an Olympic medal means everything. It’s her dream, her life to win a medal at the mega event ever since she picked up a bow and arrow. Ranked No. 1 in the world, the Ranchi girl said the ranking meant nothing much to her, says a report in The Times Of India.

"World ranking gives me confidence, but I am not so happy with just this. I'll be happy if I can win a medal in London," the 18-year-old said, flashing the trademark dimple in her cheek. "I am focusing on my training and working on my technique. In archery, even small errors can make a huge difference," she said at a send-off ceremony for Samsung India's 'Olympic ratnas'.

Deepika wants to emulate the Koreans in London. "Korea and China will be tough competitors. Koreans always win medals at the Olympics. I have to take it away from them."

Also present at the function was veteran shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu, who offered a piece of advice to first timers like Deepika and fellow shooter Ronjan Sodhi. "First Olympics is where you have to control your nerves the most," Manavjit said.

Now going for his third Olympics, Sandhu finds himself in a better place in terms of experience. "Every day, ever month, every year is different in a sportsman's life. Twelve years down the line I feel like a different shooter. I have grown in experience and am far more prepared to deal with Olympics," he said, according to the report.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, with barely a month left to the London Games, it came as no surprise that only a few athletes turned up for the send-off function organised by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday.

The seven sportspersons who were present on the occasion —most of the others are away fine-tuning their final preparations — were mobbed by photographers before they made their way to the small dais.

Rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra is away training in Germany. But double trap medal prospect Ronjan Sodhi and trap shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu took a short break from their training base in Italy to be at the function. Rifle shooter Gagan Narang, the third shooter who is part of the contingent sponsors Samsung's Olympic Ratna programme, was also present.

Ronjan, who has shed weight to tone up before the Games, looked sharper than ever. “My aim is to remain focussed in the coming days,” he said, determined to atone for missing the Beijing Olympics where he equalled the world record too late in the day to find an entry.
Manavjit was confident India's experienced and talented bunch of shooters would do better.

“This time, Indian shooters hope to bring more medals than in Beijing.” Deepika, who achieved the ultimate success in the World Cup in May when she defeated her fancied South Korean opponent to clinch the individual recurve gold and the top ranking, said there would be no distractions in her bid for glory at Lord's.