Former world champion, trap shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu, sounded confident about his chances in what would be his third appearance at the Games.
In a release issued by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) from London on Friday, Sandhu was quoted as saying that he was “tentative” both in Athens and Beijing, but was better prepared this time.
“I am in good nick. I trained very hard in Italy before coming here,” said Sandhu.
He predicted that a score of 121 out of 125 would be enough to put him in the final, and added that he would try to make the cut and take it from there.
The manager of the archery team, Pareshnath Mukherjee, was wary of the hype surrounding the six-member archery squad, and pleaded that “we should be reasonable with our expectations.”
He did agree that the hype was understandable as Deepika Kumari was ranked No. 1 in the world and the women’s team was ranked second and the men’s team fifth, but countered it with a strong argument.
Different ball game
“Everything in sports does not go by statistics. If that had been the case, Rafael Nadal would not have lost to a lesser-known player in Wimbledon. Olympics is a different ball game,” said Mukherjee, who is also the secretary-general of the Archery Association of India.
He was, however, pleased with the manner in which the Indian squad was adapting to the cold conditions in the practice arena of the Lord’s cricket ground and thrilled by the local support for the archers. Incidentally, the main arena will be open for practice next week.
Ismail Baig, the coach of the three-member rowing team, said that the primary target for Sawarn Singh in single scull, apart from Manjit Singh and Sandeep Kumar in double scull, was to reach the second round.
“In single scull, a top six finish in the heats will enable Sawarn to qualify for the quarterfinals. There will be a total of 18, plus six best losers, making the cut. In double scull, the first 12 teams will go to the second round,” said Baig.
Baig, while mentioning that Sawarn could progress to the next round if he clocked a time of seven minutes in the two-kilometre race, said that the double scull team may have to clock six minutes 30 seconds to enter the quarterfinals.
“I am confident that we will give better performances. The water here is light compared to the hard water in Hyderabad where we had been training,” said Baig.
The rowers, who have their training base near the competition venue, visited the Games Village to get a feel of the festive ambience there.