Kathmandu, August 21:
Nepali taekwondo star Deepak Bista is gearing up to fight against a tough opponent, Saei Hadi of Iran in the welterweight category first-round bout at the Beijing Olympic Games on Thursday.
â€œThe physical training is over and now I am preparing myself mentally for the match,â€ Bista told The Himalayan Times in a telephonic conversation from Olympic Village in Beijing. â€œI will play with full confidence and try my best,â€ said Bista.
Asked about the game plan against the Athens Olympics gold medallist and Sydney Olympics bronze winner, Bista said he would initially adopt defensive strategy. â€œHe (Hadi) is an aggressive player and there is no point going offensive against such a player. I will follow the instruction of my coach (Kwon Hyouk Joung) as we might have to change the strategy after each round,â€ said Bista, the three-time South Asian Games gold medallist and two-time Asian Games silver medallist.
Bista, however, added that he might switch to offensive play if the situation demands him to do so. â€œHadi is a class player. But that does not mean I have to worry about the bout. Anyone can beat anyone in taekwondo and I am also capable of beating anyone,â€ said Bista. â€œMy coach has asked me to play my natural game and use the tactics I have learnt during the training,â€ he said.
Bista, only the second player in Nepalâ€™s sports history to qualify for the Olympics after Sangina
Baidya, also a taekwondo player, was confident of winning a medal for the country. â€œThe country and the people have expected a lot from me as I have won many medals in the past and I will try my best not to let them down,â€ he said. â€œI will play confidently and if the luck is on my part tomorrow, I will win a medal for the country,â€ he said.