Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra said that the country should aim to win “double digit” medals at the Tokyo Olympics and around 25 at the 2024 Games in Paris.
The IOA president feels that a good show in the Olympics will then help India gain public support in its bid to host the 2032 Summer Games.
Batra had recently told International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach — when he visited the country last month — that India would bid for 2032 Olympics, 2026 Youth Olympics and 2030 Asian Games.
“Our target should be to win medals in double digits in 2020 Tokyo Olympics, 25 in 2024 Olympics and around 40 medals at the 2028 Olympics. This we need as we want to bid for 2032 Olympics. It is difficult to win public support (to bid for Olympics) if we do not do well and win medals in the Olympics itself,” Batra said.
“We have to plan for 2020 and 2024 Olympics and we have to find the talent in the country. We have to do this together with the national federations as well as government. We have to work with the government as they are having schemes like Target Olympic Podium Scheme,” he said at a felicitation function of the badminton players who have won medals at the recent Commonwealth Games.
He also gave a thumbs up on the politicians heading National Sports Federations, saying it’s good for Indian sports.
“60 out of the 66 medals India won in the CWG were by players from NSFs being headed by politicians. Badminton, table tennis, wresting, weightlifting, shooting to name a few are headed by politicians and they are giving medals to the country,” said the IOA chief.
“Politicians heading NSFs are not bad but they are actually good for Indian sports,” he added.
Meanwhile, Badminton Association of India felicitated the shuttlers for their spectacular successes at the CWG with cash reward to the tune of one crore thirty lakh (1,30,00,000) rupees to them.
“It gives me immense pleasure to be here to celebrate the heroics of our players in the Commonwealth Games. They have not only created history but have once again underlined India’s reputation as one of the top performers globally,” BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
The mixed team which made history by winning India’s first ever gold was presented with a cheque for Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 lakh to each of the 10 players).
The BAI awarded Rs 20 lakh to Saina Nehwal for winning the gold medal in women’s singles, and Rs 10 lakh each to PV Sindhu and K Srikanth for winning the silver medal in their respective individual events.
The young men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who etched their name in history books by becoming the first ever men’s doubles team from India to win a medal in the CWG, were awarded Rs 7.5 lakh each.
The women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy were handed Rs 3.75 lakh each for their bronze medal winning feat.
The entire coaching staff was also honoured for their contribution towards the historic achievement. Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand was felicitated with Rs 10 lakh while doubles foreign coach Tan Kim Her was given Rs 3 lakh.
Assistant coach Siyadath Ullah Siddiqui was handed Rs 1.5 lakh while the trio of Kiran, Johnson and Gayatri (all physios) were awarded Rs 1 lakh each.
The players, including Saina, Sindhu and Srikanth, thanked the BAI and also the IOA, especially its General Secretary Rajeev Mehta, for looking after the Indians players during the Gold Coast CWG.
The BAI also announced that it would be conducting a training camp for the youth for the first time during the summer. The camp will be conducted under the guidance of legendary Prakash Padukone, who will be assisted by U Vimal Kumar. Junior national coach Sanjay Mishra will be the convenor of the initiative.