The new year brought great news for Fouad Mirza. The Bengaluru boy was assured of his place in the Olympics in November but it got the official stamp when the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (EFI) released their rankings after the 2019 season.
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The confirmation was the icing on the cake for the fast-rising star, who just two years ago had broken India’s 36-year equestrian medal drought at the Asian Games, bagging silver in both the individual and team events. The Indian government even conferred him with the Arjuna Award in 2019 for that achievement but as it turns out, not everything was smooth sailing through the year.
The horse with whom I won the silvers, Seigneur Medicott was injured early on in 2019, which was a big blow to me. I was counting on him to help me through the qualifications but unfortunately, he could not participate, Fouaad Mirza revealed in an exclusive chat with the Olympic 2020 Channel.
However, his determination did not waver. Riding the newly-acquired Dajara 4, Fouaad Mirza rode to victory at CCI3*S, an Olympic 2020 qualifying tournament at Strzegom, Poland in October, which he lists as one of the highlights of his season.
The ultimate dream
The equestrian is currently training in Germany and is looking to get his into his groove before his big dream rolls around in about six months. Look, there is always the risk of injury in any sport, and I cannot hold myself back because of that fear. I will keep training hard and take part in more events to be in the best possible shape before Tokyo Olympic, he stated.
Nonetheless I have not ever been one to bow down under the weight of a big challenge, my modest nature does not allow that. Others may think I have no chance nevertheless I always think I do – if you don’t do that for yourself, nobody else can.
And how does he rate his chances at the Olympic 2020 “It is going to be tough when you are rival against the best athletes from around the world. It will be my first Olympics and while the Asian Games was big, this is even bigger. All I can say is if it’s my day, I will come out on top and I will try my best to make that likely,” he signed off.
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