Coach Surinder Paul says his ward Ankit Sharma never accepted defeat in spite of missing a spot in the Indian contingent several times.
“Ankit has ‘never say die’ spirit. When he came to Sports Authority of India (SAI), Bhopal in 2006, he was underage. But he performed so well that he was selected for the SAI on a special request,” Paul recalls.
“At the age of 13, Ankit crossed 6 metre in long jump. I just sharpened his skill because he is a born athlete,” he says. “Like a bright trainee, he used to complete all the tasks given to him. Given his body structure, he is an explosive athlete.”
‘Ankit qualified for Youth Commonwealth Games but didn’t get a chance to participate’
“Ankit’s success is not a cakewalk. Just after two years of extensive training, Ankit qualified for Youth Commonwealth Games held in Pune in 2008. Despite his qualification, he didn’t get a chance to participate in the Games. He did made a come back in 2010 by getting a place on Indian contingent but didn’t perform well due to injury,” Paul says.
‘Was again dropped from thIndian contingent in last Asian Games ’
“He was again dropped from the Indian contingent in the last Asian Games. There was a probability that he could have won a medal for the country. But after few months, he made a new record by winning a gold medal in National Games.”
Ankit was again dropped from the Asian Championship but he fought hard and found a place in the contingent. “Ankit has 40 days to better his performance and I am sure his passion and hard work will help him.”
Talking to HT over phone, Ankit said it was a proud moment for him. “I have reached very near to my childhood dream. This is the last chance for me and I will make all the possible efforts to win a medal for the country.”