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India can win more than 6 medals at the Tokyo Olympics, says Kiren Rijiju

India can win more than 6 medals at the Tokyo Olympics, says Kiren Rijiju

Sohinee Basu

Published: 17 Dec 2019 7:26 AM GMT

Depending on his trusted foresight, Sports Minister of India, Kiren Rijiju is extremely hopeful about India producing their best medal output in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics. India's standout performance came during the 2012 London Olympics when the athletes soared to bag six medals- two silver and four bronze. While the 2016 Rio edition was a very feeble appearance for the Indian contingent with only two medals to take home, Kiren Rijiju is more than convinced that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will tell a better, if not the best, story.

During a session of 'Agenda Aaj Tak', Kiren Rijiju went on to say that, “We are assessing our athletes’ performance under the TOPS scheme. Right now we are at the halfway stage, 61 athletes have qualified for Tokyo. The qualification process will go on till May,” he explained. Rijiju's prediction is not exactly baseless as the Sports Minister has deliberated over the potential chances of the current crop of athletes expected to head for the Tokyo Olympics. Reminiscing about how India bagged 6 medals at the 2012 Olympics, Rijiju stresses, “Saying how many medals we will win 8-9 months beforehand is not correct. I am just making an assessment now that we have the capability of breaking the London record,” he added.

However, even Rijiju knows that it is easier said than done. For this medal dream to see the light of life, there are several things that need to function properly to assist in the fulfilment of it. Rijiju mentions, “There are a lot of issues. Governance is the biggest issue. Sometimes if the athlete is doing well the federation is not able to tell the ministry, doesn’t promote the athlete,” he said. For the smooth functioning and conversion of this dream, Rijiju said, “Players, federation, and government all have to come together. Earlier the federation and government fought with each other all the time. But when I was made minister I called the federations and said I’m not here to govern over you I am here to help you and the athletes,” he added.

There are a lot of things to take care of to ensure that this nurtured dream takes shape next year. The sports sector has to be tended with care. Vijender Singh, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist also stressed the need for proper infrastructure and medical assistance. “There are a lot of areas that India needs to improve on. Medical is one of them. In our sport (boxing) if we get hurt near the eye and are not tended to properly we risk losing our eyesight,” Singh mentioned.

While Rijiju's dream may not be unrealistic, it will require a sincere dedication on the part of the administration as well as the athletes to work in combination to ensure that India gets home more than 6 medals this time from Tokyo.

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