India's top shot putter Om Prakash Singh Karhana is fully aware that he is not exactly among the favourites to win a medal in London Olympics but he considers himself as the dark horse who can be on the podium with a bit of luck.
The 25-year-old, who has been training in Hungary for the last two years, told PTI in a telephone interview that his first aim is to qualify for the final before thinking of a medal.
"I am aware that no Indian has won an Olympic medal in athletics. But I don't want to put extra burden on myself thinking that I want to win a medal. I am not doing that. My first aim is to make it to the final round. From then on I can think about winning a medal," he said from Szombathely where he is currently based.
"Olympics is the biggest sporting event and every athlete wants to win a medal there. But what matters is the performance on that particular day. I consider myself to be among the top-level competitors and if luck is in my favour, I can finish on the podium," he added.
Om Prakash qualified for London Olympics a year ago with a throw of 20.04 metres in an IAAF meet at Szombathely before recently shattering Shakti Singh's 12-year-old national record by hurling the iron ball to 20.69m. He claims to be in prime form.
"I have got time to prepare myself for the Olympics. Since the beginning of the year my focus has been on physical fitness and mental aspect.
"Except for a minor elbow problem which came up in the last two weeks while training and which is all right now, there were no issues at all. I am in the best shape of my career," said the Haryana-lad who stands at six feet and seven inches.