Fouaad Mirza, who shot to fame by winning two silver medals in equestrian at the 2018 Asian Games, Sunday said he has the best chance to help India qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. “I have a good chance to help India qualify for the 2020 Olympics,” Fouaad told PTI ahead of the ninth edition of Equestrian Premier League conducted by Embassy International Riding School (ERIS) here.
The school has been holding the league for the past eight years. The event is a platform for young and talented riders to encourage them to pursue the sport as professionals. Jibran Khan, a product of EIRS, won the open category title event this year.
Out of the many competing Asia-Pacific countries in Group F, the real contest will be between India and China for making the Olympics by picking up the required points, he stated.
India is placed in Group F, in which it has to compete with Japan, Thailand, Korea, Indonesia, China and few other countries. “Japan, New Zealand and Australia have already qualified for Olympics on the basis of being a host nations for conducting world equestrian competitions,” he said. “So, India stands a good chance to qualify as China is the only good competitor.”
Asked if he would provide financial support to other riders forming team India for Olympics, Embassy Group chief Jitu Virwani, who is helping Fouaad, said, “I would sponsor the riders if I am assured by the Equestrian Federation of India to send them for 2020 Olympics.”:
Virwani said the Indian government has to take several steps including softening of quarantine regulations to popularise the sport in the country. “The quarantine regulations makes the sport even more expensive, and it becomes difficult for equestrian enthusiasts to get horses into India,” he added.