News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » Sports » Soma confident of qualifying for Olympics

Soma confident of qualifying for Olympics

Source: PTI
June 08, 2004 17:35 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Soma Biswas is braving all odds to achieve the magical 6050 points needed for a berth in the main round of the heptathlon event at the Olympic Games in August.

Denied a chance to train abroad or even take part in European Grand Prix meets due to lack of funds, the Bengal girl is trying to defy the lack of facilities and competition by sheer determination and hard work.

Also Read

61 in Indian Olympics team

"I am quite confident of achieving the target (6050 pts). Despite the odds, I am mentally prepared to give a last ditch effort," the Asian Games medallist said after a grueling training session at the Sports Authority of India centre in Kolkata.

Accompanied by coach Kuntal Roy, Soma is undergoing a 38-hour weekly training schedule to overcome the shortcomings.

"I know I have to pick up my performance to score the minimum cut-off mark. And all I have in hand is next one month."

Soma's task has been made difficult with compatriot J J Sobha qualifying for the same event earlier.

"The qualifying mark in 'B' standard for heptathlon is 5900, but it will not be applicable for Soma since Sobha has already qualified. Now Soma has to achieve the 'A' qualifying mark, which is 6050," Roy explained.

"What she desperately needs at this stage is competition. It is unfortunate that when her peers are testing themselves in European circuit meets, Soma has to cut a lone furrow here," Roy said.

This was queer in view of the fact that Soma, who also bagged a silver medal in the Afro-Asian Games, has performed better than her teammates in a number of international meets since the 2002 Busan Asiad.

Incidentally, the Afro-Asian Games was the last international meet for the Bengal heptathlete.

Soma's performance was also the best among the Indians in the All-Stars Meet in Drezen Gano in Italy last year, where she finished 10th with 5400 points.

The slump in her career came at a time when she was aiming high for the World Championship last year.

"I had prepared well after the Asian Games for the world meet, but then I caught viral fever during selection. It had a very debilitating effect on my muscles till long after I recovered."

Compounding her misery was financial problems, which barred her from undergoing a two-month training camp abroad.

"Now I have to be content with whatever is available. I am going for the circuit meet in Chennai on June 16, where I will take part in some individual events to test my position in those disciplines," Soma said.

Admitting that his ward, despite standing tall at 5 ft 8 inches, had some weaknesses in high jump, Roy said: "If she can have a decent score in that event, nobody can stop her.

"Soma has no problem in events like sprint, hurdles, javeline throw and long jump, but in high jump it seems she has developed a mental block. So I am taking help of a psychologist," the coach said.

In the absence of state-of-the-art facilities, sponsorship and competitors, Soma has video clippings to draw inspiration from and analyze her performance vis-à-vis the world beaters.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.