'I should've stayed closer to the golf course': Aditi Ashok rues the distance she had to travel everyday

Golf - Olympics: Day 15
Golf - Olympics: Day 15

Aditi Ashok's performance at the Olympics had many Indians hooked on a sport they had never seen before. The golfer's fourth-place finish gave them the belief that the country could possibly even win a medal in the sport. Though Aditi was ranked 200th in the world, she stayed calm under pressure to give high-ranked golfers like Nelly Korda and Lydia Ko a run for their money.

Aditi Ashok did not receive enough support before the Olympics

Aditi will definitely be a big name in Indian golf after her stellar performance in Tokyo. However, she had to deal with multiple problems in the build-up to the Olympics. She was not supported by TOPS, the government scheme introduced to help the athletes prepare for the Olympics. While speaking to NDTV in an interview, Aditi said:

'I'm a golfer, and the TOPS scheme comes into effect only after you qualify. We qualify a month before the games. So, in one month, I don't even have the tournaments or anything they need me to spend the money on. Sometimes I feel that TOPS is not designed for golfers."

Other than government schemes, there are many private foundations that sponsor athletes. Speaking about these organizations, Aditi said:

"Yes, these foundations do a lot of good stuff, and it's great to have those independent from the government. I reached out to the foundation and they said, "Yeah yeah, we are watching you for the Olympics." One Olympics came and went, and then the second one's here, and they're like, "We're still watching you." It never really goes from there."

Aditi was to compete at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, 75 kilometers away from the Olympic village in Tokyo. She had to travel an hour and 30 minutes to get there and prepare for the start of the day. While talking to NDTV about her experience in Tokyo, Aditi said:

" Most of the golfers were staying in a hotel close to the golf course, whereas the Olympic village was 75 kilometers from there, which is a 1 hour and 30 minute drive. I had to play at 8:18 in the morning and I had to warm up an hour and a half before, which meant that my breakfast had to be a couple of hours before. How do you do that, when you stay an hour and a half away? So I had like a 2:45 AM alarm." She added: "I feel like I should've stayed closer to the golf course. Maybe I wouldn't have won the medal. Maybe I would have had the same chance of winning a medal, but I would say that would have helped."

Also Read: 5 lesser-known facts about Aditi Ashok - India's medal hope at Olympics 2021

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Edited by SANJAY K K
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