For gymnast Ashish Kumar, who has spent three years in “aimless’ training”, there is little solace in finding his name in the core group probables for the 2014 Commonwealth and Asian Games.
“I don’t feel great about it. The last three years have been hell. I pray to God that no sportsperson faces such a situation,” Ashish told HT. Allahabad’s Ashish gave India their first-ever medal in gymnastics when he won a bronze at the 2010 CWG before winning a silver and bronze at the Guangzhou Asian Games in the same year.
“I’d hoped my feat would change the sport’s fortunes, but no support came from any organisation, including the Gymnastics Fed-eration of India, sports ministry or the Sports Authority of India,” said Ashish, adding, “though the GFI was defunct due to its politics, the ministry and SAI should have conducted camps.”
Ashish, who lost out on a chance to compete at the 2012 London Games due to administrative wrangling and lax attitude of the authorities, as he wasn’t given a wild card, claimed he wasn’t hopeful about next month’s World Championship.
“Right now, I am my coach and till last week I had not even thought about this event. In the last three years, I have missed the opportunity to participate in as many as 24 World Cups,” he said. “I could have won 2-3 medals and that would have boosted my world ranking and confidence.”
He admitted that though he doesn’t have time to prepare for the 2014 CWG and Asian Games, he is ready to give off his best.
“I have less than a year to prepare. I hope the core group camp continues till the 2014 events, and I will try and take my game to a better level,” he added.