May 9, 2012 JFI/OLY/2012/098
Garima, lone Indian to qualify for Olympics
New Delhi, May 9: Ms. Garima Choudhary, who finished seventh at the recent Asian Judo Championships at Tashkent (Uzbekistan), will be lone Indian judoka who will participate at the London Olympics later this year.
Based on the ranking list released on Wednesday by the International Judo Federation ( IJF ), Garima has qualified for the Games and will compete in the -63kg weight category at the Olympics. She has collected 34 points during various meets, including 7th position in the Asian Judo Championships at Tashkent recently. Garima had earlier picked four vital points at the Warsaw World Cup for women in Poland and at the World Championships in Paris last year.
A consistent top performer at the national level, the 22-year-old Meerut girl was thrilled to know about her London berth through the continental quota. “It’s a dream come true for any athlete to compete at the biggest stage like the Olympics. I am fortunate to make the grade,” said Garima, who is pursuing her BA degree as an external candidate. Talking of Garima, secretary-general of Judo Federation of India ( JFI ) Mukesh Kumar said the appearance at the London Games will help gain good exposure and boost her confidence. “She is a good medal prospect for the country at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in Incheon (Korea) in 2014,” he said.
The JFI is planning to send Garima to Cuba, where she will have good sparring partners or either to Paris or Hungary for a month-long training and competition exposure. “One month training before the Games is good as Garima will be able to hone her skills in the company of good competitors,” said Kumar. “We have a tie-up with Cuba but will also work out if we can explore other possibilities,” he added.
At the Beijing Games India was represented by two girls, Tombi Devi and Divya Sharma. Tombi Devi, however, failed to qualify in the face of a tough competition in her 48kg weight category at Tashkent but Divya has given up judo since Beijing.