An elusive Olympic qualification in equestrian is still within India’s grasp provided all factors work in his favor, feels Asian Games silver medalist Fouaad Mirza.
Mirza was the first Indian to win an Asian Games individual medal in equestrian since 1982 besides guiding the country to a second-place finish in the team competition in Jakarta last year.
He said, “My main focus is the selection for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics right now. It is within our grasp but also depends on a lot of things like the horses need to travel a long way.”
“With my main horse out it is difficult but if everything goes well Olympic qualification is achievable. As of now the preparation is moving in the right direction and whatever happens will happen.”
His Olympic qualification was hindered when first-choice horse, Seigneur Medicott, who he rode on the Asian Games, was stuck by an injury, but Fouaad still feels his performance in the build-up to the Olympics have been satisfactory.
In equestrian, Olympic qualification is based on an elaborate ranking system. A ride-horse duo collects points by taking part in tournaments throughout the year. At the end, the points are added to compile the world ranking.
He said, “I have achieved good results in the qualifiers. On one occasion I finished 11th and on two other occasions I just missed out on a large some of points from the smallest of margins.”
India has qualified for Olympics in equestrian and even if he reaches Tokyo, Fouaad feels there is a lot that could go wrong. But the Bengaluru native maintained that India can continue doing well at the Asian level.