NEW DELHI: Winter Games Federation of India Jan 8 clarified that three Indians, not four, will take part in the February 7-23 Sochi Games. Shiva Keshavan in luge, Himanshu Thakur in Alpine Skiing and Nadeem Iqbal in Cross Country will take part in the Winter Games in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi. Another athlete, Hira Lal also reached the qualification standard in Alpine Skiing but Himanshu will take part in the event as India has been handed only one quota place.
“Himanshu Thakur and Hira Lal reached qualification standard in Alpine Skiing but India has got only one quota place and we have to select one. Himanshu has been doing better than Hira Lal in the last four competitions, so we will send Himanshu in Sochi Games,” WGFI Secretary Roshan Lal Thakur said. “Hira Lal has taken part in 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy (in giant slalom) and he is now more of a coach and mentor to Himanshu who is just 20 years of age. Hira Lal takes part in competitions with Himanshu to push him (Himashu) to better performance,” Thakur added. Both Himanshu and Hira Lal are now in Iran to take part in competitions there. They had taken part in competitions at Darbandsar and now getting ready for another event at Shemshak. The three Indian athletes will take part in Sochi Winter Olympics as Independent Athletes under the banner of International Olympic Committee as the Indian Olympic Association has been under suspension for more than a year. (PTI)