Judoka Avtar Singh geared up for Rio

It is difficult to pack all the preparations for the Olympics within a month, quite understandably, the lone Indian judoka who has qualified for the Olympics, based on his international rank in the 90 kg section, Avtar Singh, has politely refused to utilise a big chunk of grant offered to him by the Union Sports Ministry.

Avtar Singh (right) with veteran judoka Cawas Billimoria   -  JSW Sports

It is difficult to pack all the preparations for the Olympics within a month, quite understandably, the lone Indian judoka who has qualified for the Olympics, based on his international rank in the 90 kg section, Avtar Singh, has politely refused to utilise a big chunk of grant offered to him by the Union Sports Ministry.

The 24-year-old assistant sub-inspector of Punjab Police, expecting his promotion even before he steps on the mat in Rio, has kept it simple in collaboration with his coach Yashpal Singh Solanki.

Thus, Avtar, who had only managed to win a bronze in the last national championship but had capitalised on the support from JSW Sports to improve his rank from 200 to 79 in his weight category to secure a quota meant for Asia, will train for about 10 days in Sao Paulo before the Games.

National champion in the last two years, before he had to settle for bronze, but had performed well during the selection trials to top his weight category, Avtar said that he would get good training with many world class judokas at the club in Sao Paulo.

He also established his credentials further by clinching the gold in the SAF Games in Guwahati.

Even though Japan and Korea are world leaders in judo, Brazil has also very good judokas who win World Championship and Olympic medals as a matter of routine.

‘’I am confident of giving my best in Rio. Winning and losing are not in my hands’’, said Avtar, emphasising that before he gained the Olympic quota nobody bothered to support him except for JSW.

‘’From 2013 till now, JSW has done everything for me, including the training stint in Georgia’’, said Avtar with gratitude. The international exposure has widened his perspective and the confidence to match the best in the sport.

With Tata Salt also joining hands to support him, as part of the initiative to back the Indian contingent, Avtar felt that he would continue to better, with a single minded focus.

Avtar said that he was inspired by the legion of Indian Olympians like Abhinav Bindra, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Saina Nehwal, who have won medals in the Games.

‘’Abhinav Bindra has shown us that an Indian can win the Olympic gold’’, said Avtar, quite determined to improve the profile of the sport in the country with a memorable performance on the global stage.