Asian Games 2010 women’s 400m hurdles champion, Ashwini Akkunji, is the latest addition to Olympic Gold Quest list of talented sportspersons to receive support with an eye on the London Olympics 2012. Specialised medical support and nutrition to meet her entire training requirements will be the focal point.
CEO of Olympic Gold Quest, Viren Rasquinha, explained, “We believe that she has genuine potential to challenge for an Olympic medal in the women’s 400m Hurdles event. OGQ plans to help her with her entire training needs with focus on specialised medical support and nutrition,” Rasquinha said.
The Karnataka athlete competes in women’s hurdles and is part of the Indian relay quartet.
“Ashwini has improved by leaps and bounds. Her built and running style are perfectly suited to the 400m hurdles event. We are delighted to have her as part of the OGQ program,” Rasquinha said.
Ashwini, 23, from Siddapura, Udupi district, attracted attention last year with a stunning display in the 400m hurdles at the Asian Games 2010, clocking a personal best 56.15 seconds against top-class international competition. China’s Wang Xing (56.76s) and Japan's Satomi Kubokokura (56.83s) finished behind her for the silver and bronze.
The lean runner won the 400m relay gold medals in the CWG 2010, New Delhi and 2010 Asian Games, Guangzhou. Ashwini said: “The last seven-eight months have been like a dream for me after winning gold at the CWG and the Asian Games. I’m grateful to all the girls in the 4x400m team, our coach Yuri, the AFI and Sports Ministry.”
She added: “OGQ support has arrived at the perfect time as my preparations for the Olympics 2012 have begun. I am pleasantly surprised at the pace at which OGQ moved to get specialised treatment for my injured wrist and to get procure nutritional supplements not available in India.”
Olympic Gold Quest is a Not For Profit Foundation that supports the training and preparation of 25 sportspersons across four individual Olympic sports (badminton, boxing, shooting and athletics), as part of the mission to help Indian athletes win Olympic gold medals.
OGQ’s Board of Directors comprises of Geet Sethi (eight-times World Billiards Champion, Khel Ratna and Padmashree awardee), Prakash Padukone (All England Champion and Padmashree Awardee), Leander Paes (12-times Grand Slam Champion), Viswanathan Anand (four-time World Chess Champion), Niraj Bajaj (four-time National Table Tennis Champion, Arjuna Awardee and Chairman, Bajaj Group of Companies).
Others on the board include R Ramaraj (Senior Adviser, Sequoia Capital India), Shitin Desai (Vice Chairman, DSP Merrill Lynch), Rakesh Khanna (Founding Partner, Ambit RSM), Neeraj Bharadwaj (Managing Director, Accel Partners) and Deepika Padukone (Actor).
Keywords: Olympic Gold Quest