The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Qualification is Soma’s priority

Calcutta: She has herself raised the bar, but Soma Biswas has her feet firmly on the ground. She wants to go step by step — so, rather than doing well at the world championship, qualifying for the meet in Paris (from August 26) is her priority.

The 2002 Asian Games heptathlon silver-medallist has skipped the ongoing National Circuit meets and is preparing for the Federation Cup — which will serve as the world championship qualifier — to be held in Hyderabad end of this month.

Under normal circumstances, she would not have been too concerned about booking her ticket to Paris, but current form and fitness — coupled with some stiff competition that she expecting — are causing some anxiety.

“I’m not 100 per cent at the moment and working hard so that I can take my fitness to the desired level before the Hyderabad meet. That’s why I have skipped the Circuit meets,” Soma said Friday, shortly before her evening session workout.

“If I can score around 5700-5800, I should qualify for the world meet, which will be a first for me. J.J. Shobha and Parmila G. are my main rivals and I’ve heard they have been doing well of late,” said Soma, who was also in the 4x400m relay gold-winning team at the Busan Games last year.

The trainee of Kuntal Roy had touched 5891 is Busan — her second-best after the career-high 6186 at the inter-state meet in Chennai in 2000.

But Soma hasn’t been performing up to that level in recent times and her score at an international event in Italy where she finished tenth was a lowly 5321, albeit in difficult weather conditions.

If she does make it to Paris, “around 2600” will be Soma’s target. “If I score that, I should finish in the top-12 at least. No, I’m not really harbouring hopes of getting into the medals bracket,” she said.

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