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In Tokyo, I was just happy to be there but I'll be more focussed in Paris: Diksha Dagar

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New Delhi, May 14 (PTI) Indian golfer Diksha Dagar was just happy to be there when she made her Olympic debut in the Tokyo Games but having become "more balanced, and stable" since then, the Deaflympics gold-medallist is eager to deliver a solid performance when she competes in the upcoming Paris Games.

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The 23-year-old, who last week became the first Indian golfer to tee off in a 100 Ladies European Tour events, will be on a packed European sojourn ahead of the Paris Olympics in July-August.

She made her Olympics debut alongside Aditi Ashok, who had pulled off a creditable fourth place finish. Starting this week at the Amundi German Masters in Berlin, Dagar will participate in at least nine events, almost all in Europe, to prepare for the Summer Games.

"All events from here on will be like an Olympics for me," Dagar said on the 'Fit India Champions Podcast', a series that features India's top sportspersons.

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"In Tokyo, I was happy just participating. It was a great experience, learning and motivation for me. For Paris, I am more committed and focused on performing well rather than just participating," she said.

Dagar is a special golfer. She is left-handed and is the only one to have competed at an Olympics for the able-bodied and two Deaflympics (for the hearing impaired). She was born deaf and has a Cochlear implant to assist her.

Managed by her father, Colonel Narinder Dagar, Dagar is a two-time Deaflympics medalist. The Rohtak player won a silver in 2017 in Turkey and a gold in 2022 in Brazil. Dagar turned professional in 2019.

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"I really want to get into the LPGA. That will test my levels. I want to finish in world top 50," Dagar, currently ranked 147th in the world, said.

"Focusing on my discipline and process in all the tournaments that I am going to play will be important," said the Novak Djokovic fan.

Dagar was a last-minute entry in Tokyo after South African golfer Paula Reto withdrew. She has three professional titles in her career and is 37th in the Olympic rankings.

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She is part of the Sports Authority of India's Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS). She and Aditi Ashok are the only two golfers funded by TOPS.

Dagar will receive financial assistance of Rs 35.48 lakh to participate in the pre-Olympic tournaments starting this week.

"I have improved on various aspects related to mental make-up, dealing with expectations, training, fitness, travel and preparation. In a way, I have kind of done my graduation and doing Masters' degree in nuances of professional golf.

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"I am more balanced, stable and a happier pro," Dagar told SAI Media from Berlin on Tuesday.

Having won a tournament in South Africa on her professional debut in 2019, Dagar has shown she is quite capable of performing on the big stage.

"Golf and especially professional women's golf in India is at a very nascent level. Hope more girls and parents get inspired to take up this beautiful game.

"I also wish and hope for more support for women's golf which is quite low at the moment. Happy to have reached a milestone and I guess it is equivalent to playing a 100 Test matches," Dagar added. PTI PM PM KHS KHS

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