Asian Games 2018: Five things you need to know about India's second ever equestrian silver medallist at Asiad Fouaad Mirza
Fouad Mirza scripted a historic Silver medal in equestrian for India during the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. The triumph was India’s first individual medal in the sports since the 1982 Asiad with a score of 26.40 only seconds to Japan’s Oiwa Yoshiaki.
The Japanese ended her routine with figures of 22.70, but Fouad Mirza finished at the second spot due to the knockdowns where he suffered four penalty points.
With the Silver medal, India’s medals tally reached a total of 31, which comprises of 7 gold, 7 silver and 17 bronze medals. India is at the 9th position in the overall tally, while China, Japan and South are at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position respectively.
Here are the five things you need to know about Fouad Mirza:
Horse riding at the age of 5
At a tender age of five, Fouad’s inclination towards horse riding came into prominence; the first time he competed was at the age of 8, back in the year 2000 in a regional horse show.
National level tournaments at the age of 8
By the year 2002, he started competing at national level tournaments at the age of only 10 years. ‘El Dorado’ and ‘Pollina’ were the first horses which he rode, although Pollina was his personal favourite. His first successful campaign at the national level was in 2003.
Higher studies in Europe
After completing his schooling in Bangalore International, Fouad studied at the University of Northampton in the United Kingdom. His field of study in the European Institute was Psychology and Human Resources.
A winner of numerous national level championships, Fouad Mirza secured a fourth-place finish in the 2014 Commonwealth Cup, in Hopetoun, Scotland. It was one of his best performances at the International level until he won the silver medal at the 2018 Asian Games. This was India's second-ever individual silver medal in equestrian at the Asian Games, the last one being won 36 years back by Ghulam Mohammed Khan at the 1982 Games.
Almost missed the ticket to Jakarta
The Indian Equestrian team was almost scrapped from an Asian Games berth due to internal disputes but weas cleared eventually. The Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) had selected a team in May but later cancelled the selection on the grounds that the selection was void.
Following that, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said that no equestrian team would be sent to Jakarta due to discrepancies in the selection, but later a seven-member squad was selected for the Asiad.
Not only that, their horses were flown in from Belgium and then Chennai and they reached the venue without a groom. In spite of that, Fouad Mirza managed to put up a magnificent show in Jakarta.