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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Other Sport

Ensuring a bond of trust with athletes
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 04, 2012
First Published: 22:29 IST(4/10/2012)
Last Updated: 22:31 IST(4/10/2012)

Days after the announcement that women’s boxing will be part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) is preparing a blueprint for India’s London Olympic Games bronze-medallist, MC Mary Kom, who it has been supporting for the last few years.

Initially, the OGQ’s support for the ace Manipuri boxer was till the London Olympic Games, but they are now thinking of extending it. The foundation played a crucial role when it came to the gritty five-time world champion’s preparations for London.

Mary Kom required a good technical coach and she got one. “The need arose following her decision to fight in a higher weight category,” said Viren Rasquinha, a former India hockey player and now the CEO of OGQ.

Mary Kom used to fight in the 48kg category, but had to shift to 51kg, as that was the lowest weight category in the London Games.

She also got a quality physiotherapist the moment she injured her wrist. Talking about the promptness in getting a physio for the boxer, Rasquinha said, “There’s no point in making one available a week after it (the injury) has happened. You need a physio then and there.”

Support for Gagan
“In London Olympic Games bronze-medallist, rifle shooter Gagan Narang’s case, the requirement was for a particular brand of pellets and we ensured that he got it,” said Rasquinha.

Olympic silver-medallist in rapid fire, Army man Vijay Kumar, had a very different problem.

“He wanted to try out a different grip for his pistol a couple of months before the Games and for that he wanted to go abroad. OGQ swung into action and funds were sanctioned immediately,” said the OGQ CEO.

Summing up OGQ’s roadmap for the London Olympics, Rasquinha said he chose to focus on two aspects. “It is the speed at which we act and the strong bond of trust we enjoy with the athletes. It (the relationship) cannot be built over phone.

“Instead, the foundation visits the athletes at their training camps and interacts with the coaches to understand their needs,” said Rasquinha.


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