It is an amazing feeling to be first ever gymnast from India to win a medal (bronze) in a World Cup but there is still lot more to achieve, says Aruna Reddy, who achieved that feat in Melbourne on Saturday.
In an exclusive chat with Sportstar from Melbourne, Aruna reveals that she had actually targetted a medal given the kind of “wonderful preparations she has had in Tashkent before the World Cup.”
“But, to avoid the pressure of expectations, I just tried to focus on the big task ahead and I am glad that I could pull it off,” said a smiling Aruna.
“The competition was really tough. But, I must repeat the kind of preparations in the camp were really good as I could attain perfection in many elements and was very confident,” Aruna said.
“Overall, it has been a pretty good World Cup from the qualifying round till the finals. Even in the floor exercises today I thought it was a pretty satisfying effort to finish seventh,” she said.
“I am conscious of the fact that there is lot more to improve on some difficulties I faced during my performance despite this bronze especially if I were to win a medal in the coming Commonwealth Games which is my next big dream,” says the articulate gymnast.
“Well, I must mention here the kind of support I got from the Rio Olympics star Dipa Karmakar. For someone who is a role model for the entire country in gymnastics, to train with her was an unforgettable experience,” Aruna said.
“She has been a great source of inspiration with her invaluable tips, warmth and being a down-to-earth person despite her post-Rio stature,” says the Hyderabad-based gymnast who is keen to complete Chartered accountant’s course later.
And, Aruna is sad that in her moment of joy, her mentor and coach Brij Kishore of Hyderabad was not there (he is not well) in Melbourne. “One of the first things I did was to call him up and thank him for being a great support since last eight years when I started training under him,” she said. “He was happy and I wish him a speedy recovery,” she added.
“I am grateful to the Sports Authority of India, the Go Sports Foundation and all the coaches and support staff for making me what I am. And, I dedicate this World Cup bronze to my family, the coaches and all those who helped me,” a jubilant Aruna said.
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