Heena Sidhu hopes to break Asian Games gold medal jinx

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The failed attempts to bag the top prize in her previous Asian Games appearances are fresh in her memory as shooter Heena Sidhu gears up to break the gold medal jinx in the upcoming quadrennial extravaganza.

The 2018 Asiad will be organised in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2.

“This is another opportunity to do that, improve my medal and performance. I have got two team bronze in the Asian Games, and hopefully, I will improve my performance and maybe even get the gold,” said the 28-year-old today.

The former world number one was speaking on the sidelines of a send-off event arranged by the Indian team’s sponsors Edelweiss.

Heena, however, cautioned that medals cannot be guaranteed even if the performance is an improvement on earlier displays.

“I cannot guarantee a medal. Medals are subjective and it’s a comparative sort of thing which comes at the end of a good performance. That’s what I am trying to do, put up a good performance and improve my score,” said the two-time Commonwealth Games gold medal winner.

Heena is to take part in the 10m air pistol event but ost Games, will be seen in action in the 25m event as well as in the mixed event at the World Championship in Korea.

“Preparation has been going well. We are also preparing for the World Championship, which is an even bigger competition. I will be participating in all three events in the World Championships 10m and 25 m individual and 10m mixed – and 10m air pistol in the Asian Games.

“Both are important for me. It’s been a long time we have been practising,” said Heena, who is married to shooter-turned-coach, Ronak Pandit.

The markswoman is also confident of the Indian shooters improving on their showings in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in the upcoming edition.

“I think it will improve. I have seen the performance. I have trained with them and I have seen where we went wrong last time. Overall, it will be much better as a team and the scores will be better,” she said.

India had secured one gold, won by pistol marksman Jitu Rai, one silver and seven bronze medals in shooting four years ago.

The Indonesia-bound women’s volleyball team and gymnast Dipa Karmakar were among those present at the event along with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar.

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary general Rajeev Mehta was also present on the occasion, as Edelweiss announced a life insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh to each member of the Indian contingent.