SPORT

Geetha hopes for better show

HYDERABAD, JULY 24. SAF Games gold medallist in 400 m, Satti Geetha from Andhra Pradesh, who qualified for the 2004 Athens Olympics women's relay squad, hopes to put up a "much better performance than many expect" and is modest in not promising a medal in the Games.

For someone who came from the rustic township of Marteru in West Godavari district and made her rapid strides in the athletics horizon thanks to her early stint in the Andhra Pradesh Sports School, Geetha is obviously delighted at the "wonderful chance of representing India in the Olympics." "I never thought that I would actually take part though I definitely dreamt of watching them," she told The Hindu on her way back to Ukraine for the final training session.

Geetha, who called on Ms.Sumita Dawra, SAAP VC & MD, on Saturday, said that she owed her berth to Olympics to the God first, then to her parents Sathi Reddy and Kamala, who run a small cycle shop in West Godavari district, and to SAI coach Nagapuri Ramesh. "But for Ramesh Sir, it was almost unthinkable to come thus far," she added.

"Honestly, I am not tense at the prospects of taking part in the Olympics but definitely determined to put up a much better show than what is normally expected of Indian athletes. We have one of the best teams in recent times according to the seniors and since we are training together for quite a long, we hope to do really well," she says without saying that she would win a medal.

Geetha also informed that the athletics contingent would leave straight from the one-month long camp from Ukraine for the Athens Olympics.

For Ramesh too it was "mission accomplished". He predicted a couple of years ago that Geetha would represent India in all the major events. Having trained her since she was 13 in the Sports School, the former Indian hockey team's fitness trainer reminds that Geetha took part in the Busan Asian Games, the World Championship last year now she is going for the Olympics. "What more can I ask for from a girl who came from such rustic background with no sports background at all. It speaks of her determination and dedication," he concluded.

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