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Looking at London with renewed hope

other Updated: Jul 02, 2012 22:56 IST
HT Correspondent

With barely a month left to the London Games, it came as no surprise that only a few athletes turned up for the send-off function organised by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday.

The seven sportspersons who were present on the occasion —most of the others are away fine-tuning their final preparations — were mobbed by photographers before they made their way to the small dais.

Rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra is away training in Germany. But double trap medal prospect Ronjan Sodhi and trap shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu took a short break from their training base in Italy to be at the function. Rifle shooter Gagan Narang, the third shooter who is part of the contingent sponsors Samsung's Olympic Ratna programme, was also present.

Teenaged archer Deepika Kumari, ranked world No 1, lone woman boxer, MC Marykom, and male boxers Devendro Singh and Vikas Krishan Yadav also shared the platform.

Ronjan, who has shed weight to tone up before the Games, looked sharper than ever.

“My aim is to remain focussed in the coming days,” he said, determined to atone for missing the Beijing Olympics where he equalled the world record too late in the day to find an entry.

Manavjit was confident India's experienced and talented bunch of shooters would do better.

“This time, Indian shooters hope to bring more medals than in Beijing.” Deepika, who achieved the ultimate success in the World Cup in May when she defeated her fancied South Korean opponent to clinch the individual recurve gold and the top ranking, said there would be no distractions in her bid for glory at Lord's.