New Delhi: A confident Bajrang Lal Takhar, India's first rower to win a gold medal in the Asian games, says qualifying for the London Olympics would not be a problem, rather he and his teammates are targeting a medal.

The army man had created history in the Gunagzhou Asian Games last year by winning the men's singles sculls event.

"We will play in the World championship in Slovakia next month. It is a qualification tournament for London Olympic. We are confident of qualifying. Our main aim is to win medal in London," Takhar said.

"Asian Games medals have been a major morale booster for us. On the basis of our preparations, I can say that qualification will be comparatively easier this time," added the Subedar of Rajputana Rifles.

Takhar was the surprise winner at the Asian Games where he came as a triumphant despite training with minimum facilities.

The Arjuna award winner said India is far behind the European countries in terms of facilities but added that there is significant change in this regard post Asian Games.

"We have got new boats and several modern equipments after the Asian Games but still European countries are far ahead in terms of facilities. We have asked for some more equipments like speed meters so that we can know the actual speed. At present we are using old ones," he said.

"The reasons of European dominance in rowing are facilities, suitable climate and fitness.

We have been working hard on the fitness aspect," said the 30 year-old, who had finished 21st in the Beijing Olympics with the timing of 7:09.73.

He also said that Asian Games performance has been a tonic for rowing in India and now the perception towards rowers has changed significantly.

"We did well in Doha Asian games as well but no one counted us as medal prospect prior to Guangzhou Asian Games.

People even did not hesitate to write us off before the beginning of the event. We were very upset over this and wanted to prove our mettle. Now the scenario has changed.

Thanks to the good show in Guangzhou," he said.

Takhar also declined the need of a foreign coach for the team.

"We had a foreign coach with army but could not yield good results. We have an experienced and Dronacharya awardee Indian coach (Ismail Beg). We are more comfortable with him and do not need any foreign coach," he said.

(Agencies)