Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday visited the SAI training institute in Patiala and met the Rio Olympics probables to get an idea of the preparations and facilities offered to them.
During the surprise visit, Sonowal interacted with many sportspersons, including sprinter Dutee Chand, discus throwers Kirpal Singh and Baljinder Singh, and enquired about their preparations for Olympics Games, which will begin on August 5 in Rio de Janeiro.
“The athletes conveyed that they are quite comfortable and satisfied with the facilities offered to them,” Sonowal said.
However, a few sportspersons, including Ankit Sharma said that Athletics Federation of India has not been providing them food supplements since October 2015 and requested the Minister to do the needful so that they get it.
Sonowal assured the athletes that the problem will be sorted out within next few days and ensure that the food supplements which are internationally accepted will be provided.
Ankit Sharma said that due to doping issues the AFI was not providing food supplements.
Veteran coach Bahadur Singh said except AFI, other sports bodies were providing food supplements to the sportspersons of different disciplines.
Minister said that as suggested by two foreign coach, government will look into the need for constructing indoor training tracks to give comfort to athletes who practice during summer seasons in places like Patiala which is extremely hot between April – June.
Sonowal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is personally monitoring India’s preparations for the Rio Olympics and wishing that the Indian team do well in Olympics.