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Indian athletes look forward to challenge

Principal Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Athletes from various disciplines looked forward to the challenges ahead in the Asian Games, starting in Guangzhou on Friday.

On the occasion of being honoured by the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) for their medal winning performances in the Commonwealth Games, everybody agreed that the level of competition would be stiffer in the Asian Games.

“There is no doubt that it is going to be tougher. But we will give our best,” said woman wrestler Geeta, the 55kg gold medallist.

She said the Indian women wrestlers had matured of late. Bright chances

Talking about India's prospects in archery, ace woman archer Dola Banerjee said the chances were brighter than ever. “With teams like Korea, China and Japan in fray, it is not easy to predict how many medals we would win. However, now we are more confident and do not look at the Korean archers in awe,” she said.

Gymnast Ashish Kumar, who scripted history by winning a silver and a bronze in the Commonwealth Games, said he would have to be perfect to land a medal.

The glittering PSPB function lost some sheen because of the long list of absentees. Many top athletes who are busy with Asian Games preparations and other engagements could not make it.

The gold medal winners got Rs. 10 lakh each, while the silver and bronze medallists took home Rs seven lakh and Rs five lakh each respectively.

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