Meet Fouaad Mirza – Asian Games Gold medalist
One of the most surprising Asian Games medallists for India was Fouaad Mirza winning the silver in the eventing category of the equestrian event. He became the first Indian to win an individual equestrian medal at the Asian Games since Raghubir Singh who had finished on the podium back in 1982 when New Delhi had hosted the Asiad.
The Indian team, comprising Mirza, Jitender Singh, Akash Malik and Rakesh Kumar, also won a silver in the same competition with a combined score of 121.30.
Mirza, 26, was on top of the standings after dressage and cross-country with a score of
22.40. However, he slipped to silver in jumping by the margin of just one penalty on the final day of the three-day competition.
Even then, Mirza’s silver could be the catalyst the sport of equestrian needs in India,
according to Anisha Sodhi Bhandari, a former national champion and is currently one of the five members in the selection committee of Equestrian Federation of India.
The sport is all about stamina and fitness and something else which is unique to the sport. It’s the bond with your horse. You have to treat your horse with great love and respect and your horse will you give it you back and make you a successful pair. This is a dynamic like no other in sport, and it is what sets equestrian apart. This is what set Fouaad apart.
By winning a silver at the age of 26 at just his second Asian Games, Fouaad Mirza is going to be a huge boost for our sport in India. He has broken a glass ceiling now, winning an individual equestrian medal for the first time since 1982. From the next Asian Games onwards, people will look at equestrian sport as a medal winner.