Sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore claimed that India will be amongst the top medal-winning nations in the 2028 Olympics. The minister also pointed out that 2018 has turned out to be fruitful for India in terms of sporting glories.
"I have tremendous hope and belief in the Indian youth and their ability to dominate the world. We have begun the process. The wheels are turning," said the former Olympic silver medallist. Rathore, interacting with the media after participating in an event organized by Sesa Football Academy, an initiative of Vedanta Inc, at Sankhalim village, added, "2020 (Tokyo) Olympics is very close. We will do our level best there. We will exactly know even before entering the playing arena, how many medals we will win. My target is Olympics of 2024 and 2028. The way we are progressing now, India would be amongst the top medal winners at the 2028 Olympics," said Rathore.
Rathore emphasized that Indian players have left their mark on various sporting events in the calendar year. "Every single international competition...Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Para Asian Games, Youth Olympic Games...in each of these games, India has created history by winning the largest ever a number of medals. In the Para-Asian Games, our medal tally more than doubled from 30 to 72. In the Youth Olympics, we went 400-500 percent up from two medals to 13. All this is happening because the youth have tremendous potential," he said.
According to Rathore, sports has become a profession for youngsters, many of whom have won Commonwealth and Asian Games medals, and are targetting the Olympic. "They (athletes) have sponsors, they have endorsements. Many corporate (houses) are now getting into sports. The mega push has been given by the government itself in terms of 'Khelo India' as well as the 'Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)," Rathore said.
Rathore added, "the Target Olympic Podium is managing elite athletes and it is managing them in a very professional manner, their training programmes, keeping a track of their performances and opponents and also their injuries". They are not just providing training money, but also giving them a pocket allowance of Rs 50,000 a month from September 2017."
Referring to 'Khelo India', Rathore made the following statement. "80 hours of live television broadcast was there last time (edition). This time it will be even more. A total of 1000 youths are getting Rs five lakh funding every year for eight years. 80 academies have been impanelled for 'Khelo India' and we are in the process of increasing their number," concluded Rathore.
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega