India’s top pistol shooter Heena Sidhu is hoping funds sanctioned to her by the government as part of its TOP scheme for her Olympic preparations are released on time.
“Going into the Olympics, I hope that the funds meant for my preparation will be released on time so that my training doesn’t suffer. There are lot of paperwork, it’s a long process normally. OGQ has been doing a lot too,” Sidhu said on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi on Thursday.
The current world record holder and former world No. 1 secured an Olympic quota for the country in January after she led from start to claim gold medal in women’s 10-m air pistol at the last Asia Olympic Qualifiers for Shooting.
Asked about her preparation, she said,”I am just following the process. This is not the time to make changes in your game. There will be a test event in Rio in April, and I will get an understanding after that if I need to make any minor adjustments or not. The climate in India and Brazil are similar.”
The 26-year-old will be taking part in two of the three World Cups before the quadrennial extravaganza kicks off in the Brazilian city in August.
Sidhu said she does not want to take undue pressure going into the Olympics.
“It’s not about medal, it’s about performance. My job is to give 100 percent. It’s about the process, even if I win a medal nothing will change in my life. I will again prepare for the next Olympics and the one after that.
“No athlete can guarantee a medal. Even a decimal point can make a difference. If I am thinking about medal than I am
putting pressure on myself. There is no emotional attachment with a medal. What is important is perfect execution on the firing line.”
Talking about the struggle most women have to face to make a name in sports in India, she said,”It’s very hard for women athletes. As for me, I was very fortunate as my parents always encouraged me to do what I wanted to. There are so many
women athletes who had to leave sports after marriage.”
But there are few who have etched their names in Indian sporting history.
“Mary Kom is one great example, she is a homemaker but once inside the ring, she is a lioness. They deserve to be given a chance to follow their dreams,” Sidhu said.