Deaflympics gold has spurred me to win medals at Asiad, 2024 Olympics: Diksha
Bolstered by her unprecedented gold-medal winning run at the 24th Summer Deaflympics, Indian golfer Diksha Dagar has now trained her eyes on returning with medals from the postponed Asian Games and the 2024 Olympics.
''Last time, when I lost in the playoffs, I was so disappointed because I expected to win. But this time, I was 100 per cent sure that I will return with gold because of my exposure and experience in international tournaments,'' Diksha told PTI during an interaction.
''I have played across the globe, against the best players, so I was confident and when I won, I was so proud to see the national anthem play in the stadium. This win is special because it is for the country and bigger than all my individual success.
''Now I want to win medal at the Asian Games and the 2024 Olympics. I have competed at the Tokyo Olympics but it was my first experience. Now I am so motivated to make my country proud in these major events.'' Dikha was not given a direct entry into the Asian Games with the Indian Golf Union (IGU) deciding to pick Aditi Ashok and Tvesa Malik based on their world rankings.
''IGU has played a major role in my growth as a golfer but I was really hurt and disappointed when I was not selected despite being the only Indian to win two events in LET,'' said Diksha, who had become the youngest Indian woman to win on Ladies European Tour when she claimed the 2019 Investec South African Women's Open.
She had also helped her team win the Aramco Team Series – London last year. ''I didn't know that they will pick two players on world ranking. I thought it would be like the Olympics. But now that the Asian Games has been postponed, I will start my preparation. ''Winning this medal has also spurred me to work harder on my game and rack up ranking points so that I can qualify for the event next year and win medals for the country.'' Coached by her father Col Narinder Dagar, Diksha has never sought the services of any specialised coach since turning professional in 2019 but now she is seriously planning to have a professional set up around her to prepare her for the Paris Olympics.
''I realised at Tokyo and other tournaments that playing against top players I will have to work hard and this is not enough. I need professional people around me like a specialised coach, physios, mental trainers, nutritionists etc.
''It will help me to play consistent golf. I have to work on my fitness and distance and if I can keep working hard I know I can win medals at Asian Games and Olympics.'' Diksha also won numerous titles as an amateur with the 2018 Singapore Ladies Amateur Open being the last as she turned pro the following year. ''I can't imagine life without golf. I used to play tennis, swimming. But golf is something that I love most. I am a professional but I have been playing like an amateur but now I want to take my game to the next level,'' she signed off.
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