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Rediff.com  » Sports » Can't promise medal, but will give our best shot: Sania

Can't promise medal, but will give our best shot: Sania

Last updated on: July 13, 2012 19:21 IST

Can't promise medal, but will give our best shot: Sania

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Indian tennis star Sania Mirza on Friday refused to make predictions on how many medals country's tennis players will win at the upcoming London Olympic Games but promised that they will give their best shot.

"I think it's unfair to put a number (on medals). As it is, all of us are under pressure going to the London Olympics.We can't promise a medal but will give our hundred per cent," said Sania, who would be taking part in the women's doubles with Rushmi Chakravarti and mixed doubles with Leander Paes in the Games, commencing July 27.

was one of the panel speakers at TV channel's campaign along with fellow tennis stalwart Mahesh Bhupathi, Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken, former national football skipper Bhaichung Bhutia and cricket star Virender Sehwag.


Image: Sania Mirza
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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Maken hopes that by next Games even the Sports Minister would be a former sportsperson

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Asked about India's chances in the Games, Maken said it is not appropriate for him to predict the country's medal haul in the quadrennial sports spectacle.

"I would not like to say anything on this because it would be unfair as already we have qualified in large numbers. Last time around 50 people had qualified (for Beijing in 2008), and this time 81 have qualified," he observed.

Asked to comment about the cutting down on the number of non-sports persons as part of the Indian contingent, Maken hoped that by the time the next Games come around even the Sports Minister would be a former sports person.

"I wish at next Olympics the Sports Minister is also a sports person. In the group of ten people I am travelling with (to London), only I am not a sports person," he remarked.


Image: Ajay Maken
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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'I can assure that in 2016 and 2020 Olympics, we will fare much better'

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About the national game of hockey, Maken said the sport is on the rise after a steep dip four years ago when India failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in eight decades.

"This time we have qualified (in hockey). Last time we failed to qualify. Our team is on the rise and things are improving for hockey."

Asked where India lacks in preparations for the Olympics, Maken said, "First of all we need to improve the base that is physical fitness. The second is infrastructure. We don't have enough floodlights to practice under. The third is lack of scientific staff and proper coaching. We are battling all these things."

"I can assure that in 2016 and 2020 Olympics, we will fare much better. Even in this Olympics, 81 have qualified compared to 56 last time. In 2016 it would be better and in 2020 it will be even better," the Minister added.


Image: Sania Mirza with Mahesh Bhupathi
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com
Tags: Maken , India

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