I could have got gold had equipment arrived earlier: CWG medallist Ashish | other | Hindustan Times
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I could have got gold had equipment arrived earlier: CWG medallist Ashish

He became the first Indian to win a bronze and silver in different categories in gymnastics and Ashish Kumar today said he could have claimed a gold had the apparatus arrived on time for the Commonwealth Games.

other Updated: Oct 09, 2010 15:48 IST

He became the first Indian to win a bronze and silver in different categories in gymnastics and Ashish Kumar today said he could have claimed a gold had the apparatus arrived on time for the Commonwealth Games.

"I think I could have won the gold had equipment arrived on time for the Commonwealth Games and the venue was also ready on time. Then we could have got the home advantage which we certainly lost out," said the 19-year-old.

Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) President also added that had the gymnasts got the apparatus in March as they were promised earlier, they might have performed better. "We could have got better results had equipment were brought on time in March," said Khandhari.

However, brushing aside the problems the gymnasts faced, Ashish choose to narrate how much he was determined in bagging a medal for the country. "I knew that it was an opportunity to do well as I was performing on home ground and when I saw the crowd backing me I just went there and gave my best," said the lad from Allahabad.

Ashish bagged the first-ever medal in gymnastics for India, winning a bronze in floor exercises on Thursday, before adding another silver to it in vault event on Friday. Chief coach Vladimir Chertkov also acknowledged that it was creditable that India got two medals in this sporting discipline after only a year of practice.

"I started from the scratch and achieving this is like getting the first man on the moon or the first man to the peak of Mount Everest. Nobody believed this could be achieved. It does not matter which medal we won. It was a good achievement. When I told other coaches that we achieved this feat after just a year's of hard work, nobody could believe it. I'm extremely satisfied and overwhelmed. If this was possible in one year, the future looks promising," said Chertkov.

Talking about the level of the competition in Commonwealth Games, Ashish said, "It was a good competition but was not a tough one. These days Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Germans are doing best in gymnastics and as they were not a part of the competition, I thought I have a good chance," said the teenager.

"I would say that one major reason why I could perform well was because Australia, Canada did not pose too much of a challenge and I capitalised on the advantage."

Stressing on importance of having international exposure, Ashish said that "India must participate in at least 5-6 international competitions."

"We lose out during a competition as we don't get too much of international exposure. We just get to take part in maximum one or two international events whereas we should participate in at least 5 to 6," he added.

He added that things need to be improved at the domestic level as well. "We have latest equipment now in Delhi and Patiala but Allahabad, from where I belong and stay most of the time does not have the modern apparatus. The equipment there have got all outdated. So there is a need to upgrade the gymnastics venues in other parts of India," he said.

Khanadari also said that there should be at least 4-5 centres in India with modern apparatus so that more kids could be given training of international level. "The new equipment must be given to the federation for proper utilisation of them and more such apparatus should be given to other gymnastics centres across India. I can assure you if that happens then we can get more medals in future," said the President.