At 18 years and four months, India’s Aditi Ashok was the youngest golfer at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Five years later, she has qualified for her second successive Olympic Games which will be held this month in Tokyo. Aditi finished 45th on the qualifying list on Tuesday to make the cut for Tokyo Games.
For the 23-year-old, who took up the sport at the age of six and turned professional in January 2016, participating in the Olympics is akin to featuring in the magnum opus of all sporting events
“I am honoured to represent my country for the second time at the Olympic Games. I was confident that I would make it to the Tokyo Olympic women’s golf roster. Now the strategy would be to perform to the best of my ability on all four days and give my 100 percent,” said Aditi, the youngest Indian golfer (male or female) to have played all majors.
Recalling her previous experience at the Olympics, Aditi believes it is something that will surely help her perform better this time. “Rio was an amazing week. I did well on the first two days but didn’t play great on the final two days. But now I am five years older and more mature in terms of playing the game and I am sure the experience will help me,” she said.
However, there have been a few bumps on the road to Tokyo for the Bengaluru-based golfer. Covid-19 induced lockdowns last year did hamper Aditi’s practice sessions. But she had her own way of overcoming the odds.
“I play professionally on two tours LPGA (in the USA) and LET (in Europe). When Covid hit in 2020, the whole world came to halt. Just to stay safe, I chose not to play the whole year except for a few weeks in the end. All the golfing facilities were closed in Bangalore. Generally, it was a tough year for everyone.,” recalled Aditi.
“During this time I focused more on my fitness and conditioning. I did practice my swing on my terrace,” said Aditi, who is also the first player from the country to win the Ladies British amateur stroke-play championship at Leeds.
As of now, Aditi is in the USA where she is putting in all the hard work and looking forward to being part of the biggest sporting event in the world.
“The challenges this time are covid travel restrictions and lockdowns. This year, I could not practice at all in India because of the lockdown in Bangalore from the last week of April to early June. But now I am back in the USA playing tournaments and practicing as much as possible before I head to Tokyo,” she said.
Analysing her performance in 2021, she said, “So far this year I started with 6 tournaments on the LPGA at the beginning of the year, those weren’t too great or bad either. So after getting back to the USA I’ve played these last two tournaments, would probably play three or maybe four more events before the Olympics. Hopefully, these next four are good preparation for the Olympics and help me build some momentum.”
new source: indian express