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Soma Biswas hopes to regain National record

KOLKATA, JULY 22. Bengal's heptathlete Soma Biswas has set a very modest target as she prepares for the Athens Olympics. After having made it to the Indian squad for the Games by achieving the qualifying mark at the Chennai inter-State meet by accumulating 6161 as against the qualifying mark of 6050, Soma wishes to add at least 300 points more during the Olympics.

By doing so she will not only regain the National record which J.J. Shoba snatched some time back but will also reach a higher world ranking. Shoba's National record stands at 6211 points.

In a meet the press programme held here on Thursday, Soma did not promise a medal from the Olympics. "The Games are a mighty big stage to perform. When I went to Sydney four years back, I was too young. But now I am much stronger both physically and mentally and I will strive to perform to the best of my ability," she said.

"I am concentrating on speed and endurance training now. I have to do much better in 200m run and in high jump," she said. Soma's personal best in high jump is 1.73m and in 200m is 24.24.

Her coach, Dr. Kuntal Roy, said Soma hovered around 16th spot in the world as of today and the difference between the sixth placed and 17th is only 200 points. "With better competition and tougher nerve, I am sure Soma will finish within the first ten at the Games," he estimated.

Soma has two more competitions at Bangalore to prepare for the Olympics. Mr. Roy felt that Soma was peaking at the right time and he was hopeful of a creditable show from his ward. — Our Special Correspondent

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