TFI pledges to qualify for London Olympics

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Ranchi, Feb 15 (PTI) Having given proper infrastructureand foreign exposure to its players, the Taekwondo Federationof India (TFI) today pledged to not only qualify for the 2012London Olympic but also win medals for the country.

"Taekwondo is the toughest game among all types ofmartial art, and mostly played in Asian countries like Southand North Korea, Thailand, Chinese-Tipei and Iran.

"If our players take part in open competitions in thesecountries, we can definitely qualify and win fetch medals inthe London Olympic Games," T Praveen Kumar, theSecretary-General of the TFI, said here today.

Interestingly, the CISF today made enquiries about thegold medal winners of Taekwondo competition in the ongoing34th National Games, probably to absorb a couple of them inthe security agency.

"Our focus now is to participate in the WorldChampionship and Asian Championship later this year, fromwhere the players can qualify for the London Games.

"Efforts are also on to send about ten players to Iranfor training," Kumar said.

Thanking the Union Sports Ministry for sending a dozenplayers to Kungi University in South Korea for training beforethe Asian Games in China, Kumar said, "Kungi University is thebest training centre for Taekwondo. And that training stinthelped the players a lot ahead of the Asian Games last year.

"Our players, who had lost in the quarterfinals toeventual gold medal winners in the Asian Games last year, canhope to bag medals in Olympics as they will be grouped withnon-Asian countries," Kumar added.

In Taekwondo, both the losing semifinalists get bronzemedals.

He said the game required more support from thegovernment with provision for exclusive Taekwondo stadium andfunds to purchase state-of-the-art equipment, which are inplace in other Asian countries.

"We would like to have the latest equipment, which isvery costly for the federation to purchase.

With government''s help we can have the equipment, costingabout three lakh," he said.

"Only in Bangalore the state has provided a hall to theplayers to practice. But in several other states, playerspractice in parks and grounds, which is a distraction tothem," Kumar said.

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