It's our responsibility to win medal at the Rio: Manu Attri and B Sumeeth
After qualifying for 2016 Olympics, India's doubles pair of Attri and Reddy reveal objective of improving their game and fitness in bid to finish on podium
New Delhi: Ecstatic after becoming the first Indian men's doubles pair to qualify for the Olympics, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy are now looking to tighten their game and improve their fitness level ahead of the Rio Games in August.
India's B Sumeeth Reddy (left) and Manu Attri return during their men's doubles quarters match at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Pic/AFP
The World No 20 Indian pair sealed its Rio berth after the BWF World ranking were released last Thursday, following the end of the qualification period between May 4, 2015 to May 1, 2016.
Playing their maiden Olympics, Manu said they will work harder to make up for the lack of experience. "Experience is important. But if you work hard, you can improve faster. There is a three-month gap and we will look to train harder and improve our fitness for Olympics," said the 23-year-old.
"Now there is no target apart from Olympics. Like any other athlete, I want to win a medal for my country." Sumeeth said: "Olympics is once in four years and all the players ranked higher than us would obviously be in pressure while playing us, so if we can showcase the best game, then God willing I think we can stand on the podium.
"Now that we have qualified, we are given extra attention on court and off court in the camps, most of the players have been feeding us, so there a responsibility on both of us to ensure we give our best to get a medal for India."
It, however, will be an uphill task for the Indian duo to return with a medal from Rio if their recent performances are any indicator.
Manu and Sumeeth, who had reached the finals of US Open Grand Prix Gold and won the Mexico Open Grand Prix last year, haven't crossed the first round of any Super Series event this year, apart from the India Open, where they beat an Indian pair in the opening round.
Cutting down on errors
"The inconsistency is due to the number of tournaments we played since one year, just to make sure we qualify but we now would be focusing on the Olympics so the results would get better from now," Sumeeth said. "We need to cut down on simple errors on court and not give away easy points. We have to work hard without thinking about the results."