India can break swimming medal jinx: Poncha
Ace swimmer Rehan Poncha today admitted that it would be a difficult job for India to win a medal in the Commonwealth Games but with the home support, the country can hope to end their medal jinx in the quadrennial mega event.india Updated: Oct 10, 2010 16:11 IST
Ace swimmer Rehan Poncha on Friday admitted that it would be a difficult job for India to win a medal in the Commonwealth Games but with the home support, the country can hope to end their medal jinx in the quadrennial mega event.
Poncha said Indian swimmers would not be pushovers with many of them expecting to reach the finals and from there on anything can happen.
"Honestly, it would be a tough job for us. Australia, Canada and England are formidable teams and they are among the best in the world," Poncha told reporters at the Games' Village.
"But many of us will reach the finals and with the crowd support I am hoping that one of us will win our first Commonwealth medal in swimming," he said.
Asked about his chances to finish on the podium, Poncha said, "I am just imagining that I will be swimming in front of 5,000-odd home crowd and qualify for the final. From then on anything can happen.
"I am not putting pressure on myself by setting a target that I will win a medal. But I am sure I will finish among top five," said 24-year-old Poncha, whose pet event is 200m butterfly.
"I want to swim my personal best timing as that will give me confidence for the Asian Games next month," he added.
Poncha said he was sad about fellow swimmer Richa Misra testing positive for banned stimulant methylhexaneamine and missing out the Commonwealth Games but said she has got at least something to cheer after her provisional suspension was lifted.
"Richa is my good friend. We were together in the Asian Games and I am sad about her. But she has got some relief and I am sure she will come back stronger. I hope she will be there after four years and makes the cut for the 2012 London Olympics," he said.
"I know how much she would have been hurt. We put lots of effort day in and day out but one such incident (doping) would kill everything," he added.
Asked about the facility at the SPM Swimming Complex which has got lots of negative publicity sometime back, Poncha, who trained at University of Southern California in Los Angeles before the Games, said, "It is world class, we don't have any complain. I am proud of our facilities in front of my foreign swimmer friends."