A stint in Belgium bolsters the gymnast’s medal chances.
New Delhi: Ashish Kumar endured a dismal outing at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year but the ace gymnast is determined not to return empty handed from the Asian Games. The 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist, the country’s only medal in gymnastics at the continental event, has left no stone unturned to train for the medal.
“I don’t want to repeat my CWG mistakes at the Asiad. My training and performance is 100 per cent. During training and trials for the Asian Games, I had posted better scores than the gold medal winner at the CWG,” Ashish told this paper on Friday.
Ashish had a 15-day training stint in Belgium under ace coach Andrew Lewis, who has trained two Olympic medallists, and the 28-year-old is now raring to go. Ashish’s coach Manoj Rana also accompanied him.
“I had a good training stint in Belgium. I tried to correct my technical faults. I focussed on my bio-mechanics. The coach over there was an expert in this particular aspect. He fine tuned my technique and I improved a lot,” he said.
After missing the 2014 Incheon Games due to an injury, all eyes will be on Ashish in Indonesia and he is keeping himself motivated by thinking about his heroics in 2010, when he grabbed India’s first-ever gymnastics medals at the CWG and the Asiad.
Asked about the pressure to perform, the Allahabad boy said, “Pressure is always there. If I had never achieved anything in my life, there would have been no pressure. But if one has performed well in the past, that always builds up an expectation. You have to deal with that.
“I had performed to the best of my ability at the CWG also. But you can’t always blame the player for poor results. There was an issue with the coach. My coach was not allowed to travel with me to the Games. That affected my performance.
“The coach plays an important role in gymnastics. Working with different coaches is feasible in junior level because you are not mature enough at that age. But at the senior level, it is essential to work with your regular coach with whom you have been training for years,” the 2010 CWG twin medallist said.