They have contributed 11 out of the 69 medals in country’s highly successful Asian Games campaign but chief of Indian Army, General Bipin Rawat, termed it as “only trailer” as the full length movie will be released during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I want to congratulate the entire contingent and I am not just talking about the medal winners. Some won medals and some did not perform up to the mark but I am hopeful that they will continue to work hard. Asian Games was just a trailer and you will get to watch the full movie during Olympics. That’s our endeavour for Mission Olympics,” Rawat told media after felicitation of the Army athletes.
The Chief of Army Staff said that he expects more medals in future marquee events.
“We had 73 representatives of the Indian Army which included 66 athletes and seven coaches, who were a part of the Indian contingent. We won 11 medals including 4 gold and 4 silver and 3 bronze medals. I expected even more but I am not disheartened. I know that they will train harder, be more determined to win many more laurels for the country.”
Rawat said that most of the athletes who interacted with him on Wednesday requested the Army to help them get more international exposure.
“They spoke to me about need for international exposure. They want to compete with world’s best athletes on a regular basis, have access to state-of-the-art training abroad. This exposure boosts an athlete’s confidence. We have seen our athletes perform well at home but at times fail due to stage fright in overseas conditions.
“That’s why international exposure with good foreign coaches will be of great help with only two years left for the Tokyo Olympics,” the Army chief said.
Rawat was all praise for the Indian equestrian team that won two silver medals and promised that Army is on course to buy quality horses of foreign breed.
“There are lot of events where we haven’t won medals earlier but during this edition we have won medals. We have never won any medals in Equestrian after 1982 Delhi Asiad. This time we won two silver medals in the Equestrian.
“We are in process of buying new horses. The 61st Cavalry of Indian Army has been tasked to buy new horses from foreign land. We will buy good horses so that riders can train here. However we would also see to it that they can train in foreign countries.”
There are five specific sports units of Army that are working on Mission Olympics which include Army Sports Institute, Army Rowing Node, Army Yatching Node, Army Equestrian Node and Army Marksman Unit .
“All our nodes are working on the Mission Olympic programme. But we are not working in isolation. We are getting a lot of support from the Sports Ministry. We have some fields where we specialise — like boxing, shooting and rowing. These are some of our specialities. We would continue to work with sports ministry,” General Rawat concluded.