Wei Fang: The Indian Under-16 women footballers, who landed here for the forthcoming AFC Qualifiers, on Friday said they have taken inspiration from Rio Olympics medallists P.V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik.
Looking ahead to the Championship where India have been clubbed with South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia and Northern Mariana Islands, the girls are drawing inspiration from the medal winning performances of shuttler Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi in the recently concluded Rio Games.
“Making the nation proud is a dream of any athlete or footballer and the recent performances in the Olympics have shown us that Indian women belong to the big stage,” Soumya Guguloth said.
“(P.V) Sindhu-di and Sakshi-di (Sakshi Malik) are an inspiration for us and they motivate us to excel in whatever we do,” added Soumya, who leads the Indian attack force.
While Sindhu won the silver medal in women singles badminton, Sakshi Malik followed closely behind by earning a bronze medal in the women's 58kg freestyle wrestling in the recently concluded Rio Olympic 2016.
“(P.V) Sindhu-di is my biggest inspiration and I hope that I can score many goals to make the nation proud, just as she did by winning the silver medal,” Soumya added.
“But Dipa (Karmakar) di is my motivation,” Laxmita Reang said about the gymnast who finished a creditable fourth.
“She has shown that hard work and determination reap profit. It's about making a mark and earning respect. As I hail from Tripura, I feel more connected to Dipa-di,” Laxmita added.
The Indian girls face a stern Philippines challenge in their opening match of the AFC U-16 Qualifiers on August 28.