Leander Paes eyes Olympic medal in 2021

Paes hopes that the Tokyo Olympics goes ahead to give him another opportunity to make India proud by “winning a medal.”

Leander Paes at the launch of Motovolt, in Kolkata on Friday. - SHAYAN ACHARYA

Leander Paes is looking forward to featuring in his eighth Olympics. The Indian tennis ace, who turns 48 next year, is hoping that the Tokyo Olympics goes ahead as planned and gives him another opportunity to make the country proud by “winning a medal.”

“It is not just about the participation. It is always about competing and aiming for medals,” Paes said on Friday while launching the Motovolt, a brand of electrical cycles.

In December, 2019, Paes had decided to hang up his boots after the Olympics.

“We are still waiting for the calendar to be announced for 2021. The Australian Open has already been pushed back. We don’t know if it will happen. We don’t know if the Tokyo Olympics will happen. But we hope that the vaccine comes out and we distribute fast so that all of us can get it,” Paes said.

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In the last two Olympics - in 2012 and 2016 - there were initial troubles of Paes getting a partner for the doubles. But he is open to pairing with the youngsters.

“Everything I have done is for the flag and for our people. I have done in the past - playing with Rohan (Bopanna), Mahesh (Bhupathi). Even Ankita Raina has done really well. So, regardless of which partner I play with, it would be great if we can push it to eight Olympics and India can get the world record. We hope Tokyo comes around and the event happens, and [I am sure] India will represent its best [team],” Paes said.

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