Fouaad Mirza says the focus is on keeping the horses fit and in good form
Given India’s forgettable track record in Eventing in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, twice Asian Games silver medallist Fouaad Mirza has no burden of expectations when he arrives in Tokyo for the Games.
After over two decades, India will be represented in the Olympics Eventing arena when Mirza along with his two qualified mounts — Seigneur Medicott and Dajara 4 — starts his campaign.
Last week, in the Baborowko Equestrian Festival in Poland, Mirza completed the Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER) to clear his passage to Tokyo. Having sealed the Olympic quota place in November, 2019, Mirza has now met all stipulations.
What will be factors for Mirza to consider when choosing his mount in Tokyo? “I will be looking at many factors. Medicott is more experienced. He was out of injury for two years. A fighter, he is back and really wants to compete. We have managed to help him back to form.
“Dajara is less experienced but has far more potential. A very exciting horse for the future.
Change in surroundings
“Medicott does not take well to his change in surroundings. He stops eating. He is like any athlete. You cannot have an athlete not eat and perform well. Now the focus is on keeping the horses fit and in good form.
“We will have to think hard about different ways of managing these horses. I will pick the horse that is in the best shape.”
As per Mirza’s estimate, around ₹2 crore was spent in the past two years on his preparation for Tokyo.
Surprisingly, in spite of booking the Olympic quota place in 2019, Mirza was inducted into TOPS in April this year.
Thereafter, he gained an entitlement of ₹50,000 per month as out of pocket expenses.
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