77 crore, 111 Foreign Exposures, 5 Specialised Trainings – How India has readied its athletes for Commonwealth Games
As per the data obtained by The Bridge, the Indian government has spent a whopping INR 77.46 crore since the Tokyo Olympics to train its athletes for the Commonwealth Games.
The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games is just a fortnight away. The quadrennial event is expected to be a grand success for India, even in the absence of shooting, on the back of a successful Olympic campaign in Tokyo just a year ago.
As per the data obtained by The Bridge, the Indian government has spent a whopping INR 77.46 crore since the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to help the country's athletes train and get in shape for medal contention at the Birmingham Games.
This expenditure includes a massive INR 42 crore for Foreign exposure trips across sports, INR 22.18 crore for various national camps and INR 13.28 crore on world-class sporting equipment.
As per the data obtained, a total of 111 Foreign exposure trips and competitions were arranged for Indian athletes since the Tokyo Olympics. This includes 10 in Athletics, 26 in Badminton, 7 in Boxing, 14 in Hockey, 7 in Para Sports, 23 in Squash, 8 in Table Tennis, 6 in Weightlifting and 10 in Wrestling.
Besides the exposure trips, specialised overseas training camps were also organised for some of the medal probables, including a 158-day training for Olympic Champion Neeraj Chopra in the USA, Finland and Turkey. Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu was based in the USA for 30 days with coach Dr. Aaron Horschig, Avinash Sable has been training in Colorado Springs since mid-April 2022.
Moreover, the Indian boxing contingent has been provided with a 30-day camp in Turkey and Belfast, while the weightlifting contingent has already reached Birmingham 28 days prior to the Games to get used to the conditions.
It is also learnt that a total of 26 coaches and support staff have been appointed to provide the Indian athletes with the best possible training for the Commonwealth Games. This includes 6 coaches and support staff for hockey, 6 coaches and three support staff for athletics, 3 coaches and 4 sparring partners for shuttlers, World Championship medallist Chris Walker as a squash coach, Chris Pfeiffer as coach for paddler Manika Batra, and two High-Performance Directors – Rene Wenzel (Cycling), Avinash Pandoo (Weightlifting).
Over and above all this, scientific testing has been implemented at national campers at fixed intervals to get normative data and establish benchmarks for athletes besides certifying all top athletes, coaches, and support staff with WADA's Anti-Doping Education and Learning Certification.