Banned from competition fora year, Asian Games bronze medallist L Sarita Devi today said she would utilise the period by taking corrective measures in her technique so that she can be ready for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“I will positively use the year by practising and working on my problem areas to correct them. I have faith in myself. I will take the year as a challenge to hone my skills and techniques to be ready for the next Olympics in 2016. My focus is now on earning an Olympic medal for my country,” Sarita told PTI on the sidelines of an event.
Sarita was handed a one-year ban by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for refusing to accept her bronze medal at the Asian Games in Incheon after losing the controversial semi-final bout against South Korean opponent Jina Park.
Sarita also said she wouldn’t have been able to motivate herself had there not been constant support from Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
“Sarbananda Sonowal sir is very supportive and has been constantly encouraging me. His support lifted my morale,” said Sarita.
The pugilist, who had refused to accept the bronze medal has been banned till October 1, 2015 and fined 1000 swiss francs. Sarita is eligible to compete in the 2016 Olympic qualifiers.
Sonowal had written a letter to the AIBA to revoke her suspension considering her earlier track-record of good behaviour. Even iconic cricketer and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar had batted for revoking of Sarita’s suspension.