Rathore’s advice to Indian shooters: Give everything that you have, the result will follow you, you don't follow result

This is your day, it’s your range, you are at your best, trust your training, give everything that you have, every step of the way. The ‘result’ will follow YOU, you don't follow ‘result’. This is the advice that Athens Olympics silver medallist Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has for his fellow Indian shooters who would be representing India in London Olympics.

According to a report in The Times Of India, Col Rathore says till Athens Olympics the sense in the environment was that Indians cannot win. “And all of us, that is the sportsman, the media, the sporting bodies and the nation had myriad justifications or reasons for this. The Olympic sportsperson then was not a celebrated icon. At that point I remember one of my distant relatives advising me against sports by saying, ‘you will at best be living on baksheesh’, such was the defeatist environment then and maybe I was not the only athlete hearing this. Perhaps these were exactly the reasons which challenged me to win at the Olympics. Though many a times I thought I had bitten more then I could chew but that die hard spirit, the will to never accept defeat, the training and combat experience of the army, would kick in a renewed energy to prove our worth as nation,” says Col Rathore.

Talking about the Indian shooting contigent for London Olympics, Col Rathore says, “Skill wise, top class. They have the best funding ever, from 2009 to 2012. But there is a difference between skill and performance. Skill is physical, performance is mental. Now at the biggest stage of competition that Olympics is, the shooters will have to bank on their inner strength. Some of them have the capability to win us a medal.”

According to a report in The Hindu, the tennis draw for the London Olympics will be made on July 26. “The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Wednesday that the seedings would be based on the latest rankings to be released on July 23. The tennis event will be held on grass in Wimbledon from July 28 to August 5. The men’s and women’s draws, which will feature 64 players, will have 16 seeds. The doubles draws will comprise 32 teams while the mixed doubles event will have 16 teams. The mixed doubles draw will be made on July 31,” says the report.

Meanwhile, organisers of the London Olympics on Tuesday scrapped part of the opening ceremony due to fears that an overrunning show would cause bottlenecks on public transport, says a report in The Times Of India, adding that organisers LOCOG said a sequence involving stunt bikes had been cut to ensure that the spectacle, which kicks off the Games on July 27, finishes on time.

“We need to make sure the show comes in on time to make sure spectators can get home on public transport, so we have taken the tough decision to cut a small stunt bike sequence of the show,” a LOCOG spokesman told reporters. He added that the £27 million ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in east London was due to finish between midnight and 12:30 am.

Other news (TOI, HT, DNA, The Hindu)

Poonia shines in meet: Discus thrower Krishna Poonia looks to be in good touch ahead of the Olympics. With barely a week left for the Games to begin, Poonia once again proved her great form by registering a distance of 63.16m in the Woodford Green Open graded meet at the Woodford Green and Essex Ladies Athletics Club at Ashton on Tuesday. Poonia, who reached London early to get acclimatized, is practising in local meets to get into the groove. Krishna’s husband and coach Virender too feels this will help her perform better. “Though we were expecting to cross the 65m mark, we are happy with the performance; it shows we are on the right track,” Virender said.

Rowers check into special village: India’s three-member rowing team has been put up in a special rowing village at the Royal Holloway, over 60 miles from the Olympic Games Village at Stratford. The Royal Holloway is a constituent College of the University of London and was founded in 1879. “The Olympic rowers (men and women) are staying in the hostel accommodation of Royal Holloway College and the ambiance is wonderful,” said the Indian contingent's deputy chef-de-mission PK Muralidharan Raja. The Indian team comprises Swarn Singh Virk in the single sculls and Sandeep Kumar and Manjeet Singh in the lightweight double sculls.