Fouaad says he is ready for Tokyo

Fouaad says he is ready for Tokyo

Fouaad Mirza, who will be representing India in the three-day eventing discipline at the Tokyo Olympics has spent long months away from home. His base is Germany, a country which has faced the brunt of the Covid-19 since last year.

In recent months, Fouaad did lose some valuable training time in training but prefers not to crib about it. ” The Covid situation is getting worse again but I suppose everyone is now used to all the rules and regulations. So, we are all used to the new normal. Fortunately I have no issues in quarantine. Everything went smoothly and the only downside is that I lost three weeks of valuable training time. But it is what it is,” Fouaad said from Germany on Sunday.

In the middle of April he will be stepping up pace. “My training is coming along well. I will be picking up the ante preparing for the Strzegom horse trials from April 15 to 18.  Fernhill FaceTime (his mount) had to be retired from sport. It was a huge disappointment for me but the others (horses) are shaping up well and look and feel great,” said a cheerful Fouaad.

While there is no doubt over Foaad’s qualification for the Tokyo Olympics, he will have to get the MERs (minimum eligibility requirements) for his mounts in mid April. “It’s a close race between Medicott and Dajara but I have not yet decided which horse will go to Tokyo. I will chose the one which carries better form,” he said.

It is well known in equestrian, how specially the horses are treated during quarantine. Fouaad is also well aware of the nuances. “My horse will be scheduled to fly around July 19 or 20 to Tokyo. So I will plan to arrive in Tokyo a day before so that I can ensure everything is ready and I am prepared for his or her (horse) arrival in the stables in Tokyo,” added Fouaad, who won the Arjuna Award in 2018 for his exploits at the Asian Games in Jakarta.

Fouaad is in a very expensive sport which is also very lonely in many ways. When he was preparing for the Asian Games, a lot of games were being played in the Equestrian Federation of India.

The worst National Sports Federation at home has been caught in some controversy or the other over the years. From lack of good governance to flouting the National Sports Code and being anti-rider, the EFI makes headlines periodically.

Add to it inept Army officers running the show in the EFI, they have done nothing for Fouaad. The talented rider has full support from his sponsor Jitu Virwani from the Embassy Group in Bengaluru. Apart from his stay in Germany, paying the coach and his own expenses, Fouaad’s horses cost mind-boggling sums of money, It is the passion of the his sponsor that Fouaad is still pursuing his dreams. For the record, Fouaad does not get any financial support from the Sports Ministry.

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