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‘I am here to help Indian gymnasts’

It is a known fact that India won three medals at the Beijing Olympic Games. But very few know that another athlete of Indian origin — Raj Bhavsar — stood on the podium alongside the US gymnastics team following their bronze medal-winning feat, reports Sahil Sharma.

other Updated: Jun 02, 2009 00:11 IST
Sahil Sharma

It is a known fact that India won three medals at the Beijing Olympic Games. But very few know that another athlete of Indian origin — Raj Bhavsar — stood on the podium alongside the US gymnastics team following their bronze medal-winning feat.

Here in India after winning silver at the 2009 World stars in Moscow, Bhavsar says he is in the country on his first ‘official’ trip.

“I have been to India thrice before, but it was always for holidays or leisure. This is the first time I have come here to work with gymnasts,” said Bhavsar.

The gymnast, who met the Gymnastics Federation of India officials on Monday, will be leaving for Allahabad to meet some local gymnasts. “I have met some Indian gymnasts during tournaments, but couldn’t interact much with them, this will be the first time I will be seriously looking at them,” he added.

India are not world-beaters in gymnastics. While China dethroned USA in Beijing, India are yet to make a mark in the sport.

Bhavsar hopes to help the country in every way possible. “I am here to help in my full capacity. Indian gymnasts have a lot to learn and I am here to share my experiences and hopefully learn a lot from them as well,” he said. The 29-year-old from Houston, Texas doesn’t rule out the option of coaching the Indian team.

“It can be a possibility in the future. But these are issues that need lots of thought and discussion. The Indian officials will also have to make up their mind,” Bhavsar said.