The 27-year-old athlete is currently staying at NIS Patiala after being airlifted back to India from South Africa.

Indian javelin thrower and national record holder Annu Rani is paying no heed to her IAAF rankings as he is focused on securing her Olympics berth by reaching the qualification mark. 

Annu Rani has won several accolades over the years with the silver medal at the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships in Qatar being one of the highlights in her career. She also broke the World Championship cut-off mark (61.50m) last year with a splendid throw of 62.43m at the federation and by the virtue, she clinched the gold medal.

The throw gave her a lot of self-belief and confidence apart from breaking her own record and it motivated her to strive for the Olympic qualification cutoff of 64m.

“I have always planned to cross the qualification mark and not rely on rankings,” the world no. 12 women javelin ace told the Hindustan Times.

However, things have not gone as per plans due to the coronavirus pandemic which has forced the postponement of major sporting events, including the Tokyo Olympics. But Rani backs herself to be ready for the challenge whenever it appears. 

“The Olympics have been postponed to 2021, so I see the upcoming national tournaments in India in September and October, as a way to gain experience, to work on my technical faults, and to learn from them,” Annu Rani added.

The world no. 12 was with the Indian javelin contingent in South Africa when the coronavirus starting spread and soon it forced a global lockdown. Annu Rani along with her fellow athletes, Vipin Kasana and Arshdeep Singh and coach Uwe Hohn were airlifted back to India’s National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala, Punjab.

The athlete is focusing on her fitness as he remains confident about her Olympic qualification. “Right now, the main aim is to not let my fitness levels go down too much,” Annu Rani told IANS.

“The coach gives programmes accordingly which we do daily. So we do about 15-20 minutes of running. Then we do either core exercises or weights training with whatever is available here.”

“We keep alternating it so one day it will be core exercises and the other will be with weights. We have javelins too in our rooms so we work with them,” the 27-year-old added.

The athletes were initially under quarantine for 14 days but the whole javelin team were restricted to prolong their stay at the NIS Patiala camp owing to the extension of the lockdown in India. 

In this time apart from training Annu rani focuses on meditation and seeks motivation by watching videos of Cristiano Ronaldo and Michael Phelps. 

“I regularly watch videos of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Michael Phelps. Watching their training, discipline, and life stories are so inspiring,” Annu Rani disclosed to Firstpost.

“Then, I read a bit too. Athletes are used to training 5-6 hours each day, and to suddenly sit idle for the most part of the day is quite frustrating, to be honest. It is tough, but we do not have a choice,” she added.

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