D. Harika on team silver in Spain: I have been longing for this moment

The three-time World championship bronze medallist said it was one of the most satisfying performances after the long break in the international circuit.

GM Dronavalli Harika (extreme right) along with other teammates who won the silver in the FIDE World team championship in Spain, and Abhijit Kunte.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

For 30-year-old Dronavalli Harika, it was a ‘memorable double’ - being a member of the Indian women’s team that won silver in the recent FIDE World women’s team championship in Sitges (Spain) and also bagging an individual silver on top board by remaining unbeaten.

The three-time World championship bronze medallist said it was one of the most satisfying performances after the long break in the international circuit. “Winning a team medal in the Women Olympiad or World team’s has been one of my long-standing dreams,” Harika informed Sportstar.

“I first played an Olympiad in 2004, and since then, it has been a roller-coaster. On numerous occasions, we have been close, but somehow we never achieved the podium finish,” she recalled.

“It left me very dejected, and I cried multiple times whenever we failed to win a medal,” she said.

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“I have been longing for this moment ever since, and I am extremely proud that we won the first-ever silver medal for Team India. I hope this historic occasion is the start of many to come,” Harika said.

“From an individual perspective, I am happy to be undefeated and to win the silver medal on Board 1 for my performance,” she said.

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On coach and captain GM Abhijit Kunte, Harika said he took a lot of important decisions with the other coach Shyam Sundar, who was often awake the whole night guiding in preparations.

“In every round, someone or the other stood up and scored crucial points. We had a good atmosphere which was conducive to the historic result,” said Harika, who is now preparing for the online Super League from October 11-17 and the FIDE Grand Swiss from October 24.

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