Equestrian Fouaad Mirza says the Olympics postpone blessing in disguise for him
NEW DELHI: Indian equestrian ace Fouaad Mirza on Sunday said that the postponement of Tokyo Olympics next year because of the COVID-19 The pandemic was a blessing in disguise for him as he will have more time to prepare.
Mirza, 28, won two silver medals at the Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia, he is currently training in Germany.
The postponement of the Olympics is like a blessing in disguise for me, as it gives the horses plenty of rest and practice for me, Mirza said.
My favorite horse, Seigneur Medicott, recovered from an injury and I will start training with him. Touching Wood and Fernhill Facetime had time to rest and will be fresh every season begins, he added.
Mirza won a silver each in individual eventing and team eventing in the Asian Games 2018 on Seigneur Medicott while Touching Wood and Fernhill Facetime took him close to fulfil his Olympics dream.
He said India has secured a place for the Olympics, but wants to confirm its personal quota for the Tokyo Games.
To get a confirmed position at the Olympics, I have to compete in one more event. That is called 'Four Long Stars'. I can complete this task in the international 'Four Long Stars' competition. My competition choice was in Montilibretti, Italy from April 9-12, but was canceled due to Covid-19.
If Mirza overcomes the last hurdle, he will become India's third equestrian participant in the Olympics after the late Indrajit Lamba (1996) and Imtiaz Anees (2000).
Mirza is currently training under the watchful eye of German legend Sandra Auffarth, who won a gold (team event) and bronze (individual) at the London 2012 Olympics, as well as a silver (team event) at the Games. Rio 2016.
I am based in Bergedorf, in the northwest of Germany. This place is almost free from the impact of Covid-19 and there is some relaxation for athletes here. With all necessary precautions, I continue my training here, he said.
Mirza had led her group in the singles event category of the Olympic qualifiers for Southeast Asia and Oceania. He scored 64 points in six qualifying events, 34 of which came with his first horse, Fernhill Facetime, and another 30 with his second horse, Touching Wood.
When asked if he had been left out of the government's target Olympic podium scheme, he said: Even after getting the Arjuna Prize, I have still not received any benefits from the government scheme. I am receiving financial support from the Embassy International Riding School (Bangalore).
I focus on the Olympics and have no complaints about not receiving help from the government. However, I will try to contact government officials when I return to India.
He also said that he is concerned about the health of his parents Indira Basapa and Dr. Hasneyn Mirza, who are currently in Bangalore.