Shillong: Excited to compete on home turf for the first time after her ban ended, Indian boxer L sarita Devi (60kg) on Friday said the South Asian Games are nothing short of a new start for her.
Sarita, who served a one-year ban for her infamous emotional outburst after a controversial semifinal loss in the 2014 Asian Games, returned to the competitive arena during a training-cum-competition trip to China last year.
"I'm full of confidence now, it's a new start for me and I'm really glad to return to the ring in my Northeast region," the former Asian champion told PTI on the eve of the South Asian Games' boxing competition.
"I'm lucky to have got overwhelming support from all over India. It's time to pay back and my only aim now is to qualify for the Olympics and earn an Olympic medal for India," the 2014 Commonwealth Games silver-medallist said.
Asked whether she's nervous, "You can say yes as this will be my first competition but I'm determined to start again on a winning note. I've millions of supporters from across the country including Sachin Tendulkar."
Sarita said she's stronger after her surgery on right wrist in November last year.
"When you do something by heart you always achieve your dream I follow this principle. Hope everything will fall in place," Sarita said.
Sarita was handed a one-year ban by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for refusing to accept her bronze medal at the Asian Games after losing a controversial semifinal bout to South Korean Park Ji-Na.