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Wrestler Dahiya not looking beyond London Olympics

July 19, 2012 16:41 IST

Still in disbelief over his qualification to the London Games, youngest member of the Indian wrestling contingent, Amit Kumar Dahiya says he is treating this as his first and last Olympics.

"I had prepared myself for the 2016 Olympics, I never expected to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. Right now I am not thinking beyond this Olympics, I am treating the London Games as my first and last Olympics and I am committed to give my 100 percent," Amit Kumar told PTI.

The 19-year-old, however, said he was confident about his chances at the sporting extravaganza.

"I am quite confident that I can deliver for my country. If you see my recent record I won a gold at the beginning of this year in USA. I got a bronze in the Asian Championship and won a gold in the Asian Qualifying Tournament. So I know I can do it for my country and for my own self," said Amit, whose advent to the senior level has surprised everyone.

Amit, who along with fellow Olympic-bound wrestlers, is scheduled to fly to Belarus on Thursday for a conditioning-cum-training camp, said he would like to improve upon his speed and shed a few kilos before hitting the mat in London.

"The focus during the upcoming camp in Belarus will be on reducing weight. I would also look to improve upon the speed of my attack. I will be also working on counter attacks and defence skills," said the 55kg free-style wrestler from Delhi.

Amit added that the previous training camp in Colorado Springs, USA was very effective.

"The camp at Colorado Springs was very good. I got an opportunity to spend some time with Brandon Slay (former Olympic gold medallist). I discussed my game with him and his tips have been really beneficial. Together we talked about my technique. He also told how to tackle different situations. It was a great learning experience," Amit said.

Asked about the role of the coaches in his ascent to the top level, Amit said, "They have been very supportive, they always keep on motivating me. They believe in my ability and tell me that if I remain focused on my goal, I certainly have a chance to get a medal in the Olympics."

The young wrestler who learnt the tricks of the trade at Chhatrasal Stadium, was particularly all praise for Satpal Singh.

"Guruji's (Satpal Singh) role has been phenomenal. Without him I would not have been able to make it so far," said Amit, whose career took wings as an 11-year-old under the former Asian Games gold medallist.

Asked about his competitors at the upcoming event, Amit said he was spending time analysing the skills of his opponents. The wrestler, though, conceded that it will not be a stroll in the park in London.

"I have been analysing their video footages and looking to strategise my game accordingly," he said.

The boy from Nahri village, however, said, "Iran, USA, Cuba and Russia will be the ones to look out for."

Asked about the tips he received from the poster boys of Indian wrestling -- Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt -- Amit said, "We practice together and their presence helps a lot. They have experience on their side and they are always ready to share information with me. They tell me to remain focused and also discuss with me how to use my skills against different opponents."

When asked about the support from his family and their expectations from him, Amit said, "They keep on telling me that there are 81 athletes from the country in the fray at the Olympics, and only those who win a medal will be remembered."

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