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2021 Tokyo Olympics | Meet your Olympian - Fouaad Mirza (Equestrian)

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Fouaad Mirza is the first Equestrian from India to qualify for the Olympics since 2000

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2021 Tokyo Olympics | Meet your Olympian - Fouaad Mirza (Equestrian)

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sounak mullick

07/08/2021

Fouaad Mirza will be India’s third-ever entry in Equestrian at the Olympics, after Indrajit Lamba’s appearance in 1996 and Imtiaz Anees in 2000. The Bengaluru-based athlete, who is now training in Germany, qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics by finishing first in the Asia/Oceania qualifiers group.

It was no surprise that Fouaad Mirza rode horses at a very young age, with his father - Dr Hasneyn Mirza, being an equestrian veterinarian and a sixth-generation horseman. The father passed on the legacy to his two sons - Fouaad and Aly Asker. Evidently, horses were always a part of Fouaad's life, with him also very comfortable with other animals since he was young. Soon, his passion for horse-riding started growing, which eventually resulted in him taking up the sport professionally. However, the road ahead resembled nothing smooth, especially with sport being an unconventional one.

With hard work, determination, and the effect of his genetics, Mirza was slowly shaping himself up for competitive action. A breakthrough was all he needed. It did arrive when he qualified for the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Mirza featured in the Individual and Team events and finished at the 10th and 5th spot respectively. But, that was not enough to create a ripple effect. Fouaad Mirza had to wait for another four years to make any sort of impact and add weightage to his resume. In 2018, he claimed the first international medal by winning gold in CIC2, held in the Netherlands.

Later that year, he won silver at the CCI 1, in Germany. Despite the achievements, it was only at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games that he gained prominence and the limelight that he deserved. Mirza claimed a silver medal in Individual Eventing – becoming the first Indian to win a medal at the Asian Games, since 1982. Apart from the individual honour, Mirza also finished second in the Team Eventing. A year later, in 2019, the athlete won his second international trophy when he clinched a gold medal at the CCI3*-2 event held at Strzegom in Poland.

Having finished 1st in the Asia/Oceania qualifiers group last year, Fouaad Mirza secured a berth for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The Bengaluru-based Equestrian will be India’s third-ever entry at the Olympics, after Indrajit Lamba in 1996 and Imtiaz Aness, in 2000. Currently training under former Olympic medallist Sandra Auffarth, in Bergedorf, Germany, Mirza will be accompanied by his horse Dajara4 in Tokyo for the Individual Eventing competition.

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