They once cashed their fixed deposits to realise Avtar Singh’s Olympic dream and the Indian judoka’s parents are in Rio to support him when he begins his campaign at the Carioca Arena 2 in Barra da Tijuca on 10 August.
Avtar became the first Indian judoka to qualify for the Olympics since 2004 after International Judo Federation confirmed his entry in the men’s 90kg category as one of the two Asian judokas under continental quota.
Four months later, thanks to sponsors, Shingara and wife Sukhvinder Kaur, who belong to a village in Gurdaspur, Punjab, boarded their maiden International flight spanning more than 20 hours.
“It’s a dream come true to have my parents watch me from the hall would be the best thing I wanted. I will give my best and make my parents, country proud,” Avtar told PTI ahead of his bout against Pople Misenga.
Misenga is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the worst areas affected by the civil war from 1998-2003 and made Brazil his home before being selected by the International Olympic Committee to represent the debutants Refugee Olympic Team.
Ranking wise Misenga may be much below the number 71 Indian, but Avtar’s coach Yashpal Solanki sees a tough bout for the assistant sub-inspector of Punjab Police.
“After moving to Brazil, Misenga has been training in Brazil with Olympic medallist judokas for more than three years. So it will be a tough challenge but Avtar is ready,” Yashpal said at the Games Village.
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