What's the story?
Precisely 155 days are remaining for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. As many as 15 of India's top shooters have already won a quota for the quadrennial extravaganza. These include Rahi Sarnobat, Anjum Moudgil, Apurvi Chandela, Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma, Divyansh Singh Panwar, Mairaj Ahmad Khan, Aishwarya Singh Tomar, Angad Bajwa, Tejaswini Sawant, Chinki Yadav, Deepak Kumar, Sanjeev Rajput, Yashaswini Deswal, and Manu Bhaker.
After a disappointing outing at the 2016 Rio Olympics, many of the shooters are confident of a good outing at the 2020 edition, especially after a fantastic outing in 2019.
The heart of the matter
Rahi Sarnobat represented India in Women's 25-meter pistol at the 2012 London Olympics as well. The 29-year-old, who has qualified for the 2020 edition in the same event, feels that the government has come a long way and helped Indian athletes immensely in their preparation for the blockbuster event this time around.
Showering praises on the government, the Asian Games gold medallist said (as per AINS):
"Communication with the government has been very good. They have provided everything we need to prepare for the Olympics. This time they have put in more effort to help the athletes as compared to my last Olympics in London in 2012. This will be my second Olympics of my career."
Sarnobat, who hails from Kolhapur in Maharashtra, also spoke highly of the Khelo India Games and feels they have had a major impact on the sporting landscape in the country. One of India's most decorated pistol shooters, Rahi further added:
"Many children are now inspired to take up sports and participate in tournaments like the Khelo India Games. The Indian government has provided a great platform for all upcoming athletes in India. I think the Khelo India University Games will have a major impact in unearthing talent in India. If the new generation athletes perform at the Khelo India University Games, then they will give an idea to the world about how the next generation is going to perform. They can create a base for themselves and for the next generation"
After the highly successful three editions of the Khelo India Youth Games, the Indian government will be hosting the first-ever Khelo India University Games from 22 February to 1 March at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. KIUG will feature 17 sporting disciplines and help in unearthing more talent from India which can later be nurtured for representing India in international events such as the Olympic Games.Published 19 Feb 2020, 16:23 IST