Fouaad Mirza overwhelmed by Arjuna honour

The Indian equestrian rider won a silver in individual eventing at the Asian Games in 2018, becoming the first Indian to win an individual medal in equestrian in the tournament since 1982.

Fouaad Mirza's bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics is not without its obstacles. The Arjuna award nomination will be a shot in the arm for the Indian equestrian rider though.   -  Special arrangement

Rider Fouaad Mirza has described himself as "overwhelmed" by his selection for the Arjuna Award.

Mirza shone at last year's Asian Games, winning a silver medal in individual eventing and another as part of the Indian side in the team event.

“I am overwhelmed with this announcement and grateful to the selection committee which has considered me suitable for the Arjuna Award," Mirza said here on Saturday.

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"It will be my honour to be felicitated at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by the President."

The 27-year-old from Bengaluru trains at the Embassy International Riding School. Last year, he became the first Indian rider to win an Asian Games individual medal in equestrian since 1982.

It hasn't been all smooth sailing for Mirza. His participation in the tournament was cleared at the eleventh hour, owing to some issues with the Equestrian Federation of India.

This year, his primary horse Seigneur Medicott, astride which he enjoyed success at the Asian Games, suffered an injury that has cast a shadow over his prospects of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“With Seigneur Medicott rendered hors de combat, it’s going to very difficult. He was great and we had great chemistry. However, Fernhill Facetime and Touchingwood are very capable horses. I hope to qualify for the Olympics. That’s my main goal right now,” he said.

Jitu Virwani, Chairman and MD, Embassy Group said, “This a proud moment for the Indian equestrian, I am delighted to see Fouaad being honoured with the Arjuna Award.”

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