Sonepat: He has earned himself a ticket to the London Olympics after a lot of hard work and pain, and grappler Narsingh Pancham Yadav now doesn't want to settle for anything less than a top-three finish at the marquee event.
"My focus is to get a medal in the London Olympics. I am not thinking about anything else at this point of time. I am well aware what a podium finish in the Games can do. It has the potential to change my life and I don't want to let go this chance begging," Narsingh, who booked his London berth in his fourth attempt, told PTI.
Narsingh beat Olegk Motsalin of Greece in a lop-sided title clash in the final World Qualifying Tournament in Finland in May to qualify for the Olympics.
Narsingh beat Motsalin of Greece in the World Qualifying Tournament in Finland to qualify for the Olympics.
Asked whether he may be putting up a lot of strain on himself by thinking about a medal, the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist said, "I am not putting any undue pressure on myself. I am just concentrating on my game and I am committed to give my best in London."
"I am working on my defence and I am also trying to gain more speed ahead of the Olympics. The camp in Colorado Springs was very beneficial. I am now looking to our final training stint at Belarus," said Narsingh, who like all the budding wrestlers, idolises Beijing Games bronze medalist Sushil Kumar.
Asked about Sushil being bestowed upon the honour of leading the Indian Contingent at the Games, Narsingh said, "He has been my role model. It certainly is a great feeling that he will be carrying the Indian flag at the Olympics. It is obviously going to inspire the future wrestlers to do good for the country at the big stage."
Meanwhile, the Mumbai lad said he was looking ahead to the conditioning-cum-training camp at Minsk ahead of the Olympics and insisted that the stay at the Belarusian capital would certainly add to their confidence level.
"There will be wrestlers from around seven to eight nations practicing there. We will get a chance to test our skills against them, which I believe will be an ideal preparation ahead of the Games," he said.
Asked about the competition particularly in 60kg, 66kg and 75kg weight categories and the challenge it poses to India's chances, Narsingh said he was not thinking much about it.
"These three weight categories are always challenging, but right now I am not giving much of thought to that. If I am able to give my 100 per cent on that particular day, I know I can achieve the desired result," the 75kg freestyle wrestler said.
To a question that who he thinks can be a tough opponent to beat, Narsingh said, "If you see wrestling is mainly concentrated in Europe and Asia, although USA has also been doing well in the recent past. Countries like Iran, Japan and Russia will be the ones to look out for."
Narsingh, however, said that draw will play a crucial role in India's bid at the Olympics.
"The draw always plays a big role, if three or four top wrestlers around the world fall in one group and you are in a different group then obviously you have a better chance of finishing on the podium," Narsingh said.
The wrestler's long-time coach and mentor Jagmal Singh, meanwhile, said that Narsingh was one of the best equipped wrestlers around the world, and insisted that he has the mettle to pluck a medal for the nation at the sporting extravaganza.
"Technically, he is very strong, and I firmly believe that he is one of the best in the world. Even if he has lost some bouts the margin has been pretty little, no one can beat him by one-third margin," Jagmal said.