India’s first female grappler at the Olympics, Geeta Phogat can spring a few upsets with a little bit of luck going her way at the upcoming quadrennial event in London, feels chief coach of the women’s wrestling team, O.P. Yadav.
Yadav, who is currently working with the wrestler at the high performance centre of Colorado Springs in USA, said that Geeta has the ability to cause a few surprises and added that if given a top eight seeding at the marquee event, she could even finish on the podium.
He, however, felt that it would not be appropriate for him to comment on whether his ward was a sure-shot medal prospect or not.
“Geeta is mentally very tough and can go past any challenge, but it won’t be right to make a comment on whether she will get a medal at the Olympics or not,” Yadav told PTI.
“Geeta’s bout is scheduled for August 9 and the draws will be declared a day before. If she manages to get top eight seeding, then certainly she will be a step closer to the medal,” he pointed out.
Yadav said that apart from the regular drills they are also keeping an eye on their opponents and added that their emphasis was on “opponent specific training”.
“Geeta has the ability to surprise and cause a few upsets. There are a total of 18 girls in her weight category, they are listed and we have the access to their videos. We are analysing their bouts and are making a note of their strengths and weaknesses,” Yadav said.
Geeta, meanwhile, said that she was confident of a good show.
“I believe that if I can qualify for the Olympics, I have the skills to compete at the highest level and do good for my country. So there would be no deterrent for me in the Olympics,” said Geeta, who beat Um Ji-Eun of Korea in the Asian Qualifying Tournament in March, to bag the gold medal in the 55kg weight category and a ticket to London.
The wrestler said that the her practice was going on fine and added that Colorado Springs was a very good place to train ahead of the Games.
“Colorado Springs is a very good place to train ahead of the Olympics. We get to compete with different partners, learn different movements, we also get to improve upon our speed, which is very essential,” Geeta said.