Sports ministry names Abhinav Bindra and Pullela Gopichand in eight-member task force to plan for future Olympics
India managed to garner only two medals despite sending a record contingent to the Olympic Games in Rio.
What’s the story?
Earlier today, a task force was constituted by India's Sports ministry in a bid to prepare a detailed action plan for the next three Olympic Games. According to a report in the Times of India (TOI), Vijay Goel, the Sports Minister, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given his approval to the constitution of the eight-member committee.
The committee includes Abhinav Bindra, the country's lone individual Olympic gold medallist, Pulella Gopichand, the national badminton coach and Viren Rasquinha, the former India hockey captain amongst others.
In case you didn’t know…
India had sent its largest ever contingent to the Olympic Games last year in Rio. After the massively successful London Olympics in 2012, where India managed to bring home six medals, expectations were high. However, the contingent returned with only two medals to its credit, one silver medal from shuttler PV Sindhu and one bronze medal from wrestler Sakshi Malik.
The heart of the matter
Hockey coach S Baldev Singh, Times Group Online chief editor Rajesh Kalra, Sandeep Pradhan, DG Sports Authority of India Gujarat, Om Pathak from School Sports Promotion Foundation, and Prof GL Khanna of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Manav Rachna International University (Faridabad) are the other members of the committee.
A comprehensive plan of action regarding India's participation at the next three Olympic Games, in 2020, 2024 and 2028 will be suggested by the task force. For effective results, this will also include short-term, medium-term and long-term measures.
The committee will work for the next three months or until the time by which it submits the report, whichever is earlier. Goel also mentioned that a few other specific sports experts may be invited to the committee if it is deemed necessary.
The three distinguished sportsmen on the eight-member panel come with plenty of pedigree. While Abhinav Bindra is India’s only individual gold medallist, Gopichand is a former All-England Open Championship winner and has coached the likes of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu to Olympic medals. Rasquinha, meanwhile, was a member of the 2000 Junior Hockey World Cup winning team and has also captained the senior men's team whilst playing more than 180 international matches.
They are all indeed very qualified and it is a step forward in the right direction. By starting the preparation not just for the 2020 Olympics but also the 2024 and 2028, the Sports Ministry have laid an example and has proved that they want India to succeed at the biggest sporting event in the world.