Rio de Janeiro, March 21 (IANS) Brazil’s top-ranked golfer Adilson da Silva says the Rio 2016 Olympics can help kickstart the game’s development in his homeland.
“We need to awaken the public’s curiosity in golf and bring fans closer to the sport, and the Olympic Games will certainly help with this,” he told Rio2016.com Friday, reports Xinhua.
“I have no doubt that interest will grow because of the Games and the sport will get the attention of many people.”
Silva, who plays on the Sunshine Tour in southern Africa, is the firm favourite to secure Brazil’s only slot in the men’s tournament.
His nearest rival for the berth is Rafael Becker, currently ranked 662nd.
“It would be very special,” said the 43-year-old. “Representing my country has always been very special, but the Olympic Games would be even more thrilling. It would be an honour and a dream for me, and I’m really focused on this.”
Silva represented Brazil in the World Cup of Golf in 2011 and 2013 but has played in Brazil just once since leaving the country more than 20 years ago.
The world’s top 60 male and female golfers – as per the rankings on July 11, 2016 – will qualify for the Rio Games.
It will be the first time the sport is played at the Olympics since the 1904 Games in St.Louis.