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Karnataka pins Olympic hopes on awesome threesome
Karnataka pins Olympic hopes on awesome threesome

Photo Credit: IANS

IANSLive

Bengaluru, July 9 (IANS) At a time when the whole world is looking ahead to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the greatest sports fest on earth, Karnataka is pinning hopes on its three youngsters who have qualified for the Games.



The whole state cheered the announcement of Aditi Ashok, Srihari Nataraj and Fouaad Mirza making it to the Games.

Karnataka Olympic Association President K. Govindaraj expressed happiness on their selection. "I was hopeful of more individual entries to the Tokyo Olympics," he said.

Aditi Ashok, the 23-year-old was the first Indian to win a Ladies European Tour (LET) title. She had also participated at the Rio Olympic Games, where she finished 41st.

Born in Bengaluru, Aditi started playing golf at the age of 5.

Ashok Gudlamani, her father, nursed her talent as she went on to secure Ladies European Tour Card for 2016 season.

Aditi, who turned pro in 2016, has won three LET titles -- Women's Indian Open and Qatar Ladies Open in 2016 as well as Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in 2017.

She now competes in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) circuit.

Srihari Nataraj, a 20-year-old avid swimmer, represented India at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. He has qualified for Tokyo Summer Olympics after FINA approved his 'A' standard qualification time in men's 100m backstroke time trial at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome.

Trained by Nihar Amin, he competed in short course swimming at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

The next year, he took part in the Commonwealth Games organised in Gold Coast, Australia.

Nataraj grew up watching top Indian swimmers Rehan Poncha, Sandeep Sejwal, Virdhawal Khade, who also trained under Amin. His mother had taken him to the pool along with his elder brother who faced respiratory problems and was advised by the doctor to take up swimming as a solution.

The swimming lessons started when he was two-and-a-half years old. He qualified for the national championship in 2010. Srihari, later groomed himself as backstroke specialist.

Equestrian exponent Fouaad Mirza sealed Tokyo Olympic berth after finishing second and third [with his horses Seigneur Medicott and Dajara] in the CCI44* Long eventing competition in Baborowko province of Poland.

The 29-year-old Mirza's journey to Tokyo Olympics was full of grit and willpower as he had to face lockdowns, cancelled events at his training base in Germany.

His favourite horse Seigneur Medicott, which suffered injury, recovered in time.

His sterling performance in Baborowko helped him to gain entry to the Tokyo Olympics. After Indrajit Lamba and Imtiaz Anees, Fouaad Mirza will become the third equestrian exponent to represent India at the Olympics.

--IANS
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Update: 09-July-2021