My entire focus is on Asian Games, says Lalita Babar
Mumbai, Feb 20 (PTI) National steeplechase record holder Lalita Babar wants to focus all her attention on this year's Asian Games as she feels she has better chances at the continental mega-event than the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Babar said Commonwealth Games is not her priority as she doesn't have enough time to prepare for the event after taking a short break from athletics owing to her marriage.
While the Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held in Gold Coast, Australia in April, the Asian Games will be hosted by Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang in August.
"I am preparing for the Asian Games because there is no time for the Commonwealth Games. I feel I will do better in the Asian Games than the Commonwealth Games. So my focus will be on the Asian Games," the 28-year-old Satara-born Babar told PTI here today.
The steeplechase specialist was speaking after being appointed as the 'brand ambassador' of tyre company Bridgestone which is connected with the Olympic movement.
She, however, did not rule out her participation in the Commonwealth Games.
"I can't say that I won't take part in the Commonwealth Games, because I still don't know whether I will take part in the Federation Cup and I have also not taken part in any trial.
"My entire focus is on the Asian Games," Babar emphasised.
Babar won the silver in women's 3000m steeplechase at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, and the gold in the 2015 Asian Championships held at Wuhan.
"After getting married, I took a six-month break. After returning to the track one should take part in some competitions and I have not done that so far. So first I will take part in competitions and see the level of my fitness. My target is the Asian Games," said Babar, who finished 10th at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
According to Babar, she did not participate in any international event after the Rio Games and the Asian Cross Country Championship, set to be held in China next month, would give her a clearer picture about her physical fitness.
"There is Federation Cup next month at Patiala and then there is the Inter-state meet in June. I have also got invitation for the Diamond League. I am thinking of participating in that, but that depends on my fitness," she said.
"After the Olympics, I have not taken part in any international competition. In March, I will go to China for the Asian Cross Country, where I will get to know how much I am physically fit (for an international meet)," she added