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Indian paddlers confident of Olympic qualification

May 11, 2012 13:51 IST

With three of the four Indian paddlers already through to the next stage of the final World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Doha, national coach Bhawini Muhherji says his wards are "motivated enough" to make it to the Olympics.

"Their sole aim is to qualify for the London Olympics and they are motivated enough to do that," Mukherji said.

Indian paddlers were off to a flying start yesterday with national champion Anthony Amalraj creating an early upset to defeat fifth seeded Emmanuel Lebesson of France in a 4-1 encounter before accounting for Vladislav Sorbalo of Moldova.

Achanta had to struggle a bit to overcome Jan Zibrat of Slovenia in grueling 4-2 match before he drew home the advantage against England's Andrew Baggaley.

In the women's section Poulomi Ghatak was at her best against Oxana Fadeeva, defeating the higher seeded Russian 4-2. The Indian then got better off Noora Al-Abri of Qatar to ensure her entry to the second stage.

India's Kumaresan Shamini, however, lost her opener against Serbia's Gabriela Feher in marathon 3-4 encounter, but the experienced paddler returned to winning ways against Qatar's Aia Mohamed to be in contention for the next stage.

Shamini will be playing against Joanna Parker of England later on Friday to keep her qualifying hopes alive.

Top nine paddlers in each section will make it to the Olympics.

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