Dubai-based resident Anirban Lahiri hopes to cause a ‘ripple’ when he represents India in golf in the forthcoming Asian Games in China.
The 36-year-old told Dubai Golden VISA Awardee will be joined in the Men’s Golf Team event by Shubhankar Sharma, Khalin Joshi and SSP Chawrasia.
The Asian Games golf tournament will be held from 23rd September 2023 to 8th October 2023 at West Lake International Golf Course, located in Xihu District, Hangzhou, China.
“I played in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, where India achieved a Silver Medal and South Korea the gold. I played alongside fellow Dubai Golden VISA Awardee Gaganjeet Bhullar,” Lihari told Khaleej Times.
“I was approached about 18 months ago by the Indian Golf Union (IGU) to represent India at golf in the 2023 Asian Games. Winning an Olympic or Asian Games Gold Medal would be a bigger deal in India than me winning on the LIV Tour or Asian Tour,” he added.
|It would send a huge ripple through the game of golf throughout India.”
Lahiri turned professional in 2007 and joined the Asian Tour in 2008 He is also a winner of the prestigious 2014 Arjuna Award, the second-highest sporting honour in India.
“Traditionally the Asian Games has been an amateur-only event but now it is open to professionals as well,” he said. “I never thought I would play again in the Asian Games after my 2006 cap.
“In my 16 years as a professional I have only represented my country a handful of times: playing in two World Cups of Golf and in two Olympic Games,” said Kahiri, who has posted 18 pro wins on the tour.
“I have come from an army family background so playing under the flag of India and national patriotism has always been very important to me.
“Everyone dreams of winning a green jacket or standing on a podium with the National Anthem playing,” he added.
The format for the men’s tournament is the best three scores from a team of four over the four rounds and for the ladies’ tournament, the best two scores from a team of three players each day.
The Asian Games is a continental multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. Since the 1982 Games, they have been organized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), after the breakup of the Asian Games Federation. The Games are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and are described as the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.
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The IGU has announced the following players will represent India in golf in the 2023 Asian Games: