India to bid for 2020 Asian Beach Games as IOA gets Union Government clearance
A 200 member strong Indian contingent landed in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan looking to better their previous seventh-placed finish at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in 2009. Accompanying the contingent was current Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President N Ramachandran, who is all set to discuss a revolutionary first for the country at Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly on September 20.
Sources close to IOA confirmed that India will be officially bidding to host the Asian Beach Games in 2020. It is also being said that the confirmation of the host is likely to be taken this week as well. A source close to proceedings told Sportskeeda, “The bid was officially given the nod by the Union Government last week, we are likely to make Goa the central venue for this particular event. It will be a massive achievement if OCA decides to give India the bid as it will be a precursor to bigger events. In the past five editions, India has shown that they are quite competitive at this level.”
The previous edition of the tournament was held in Danang, Vietnam and includes events such as 3 x 3 Basketball, where India has medalled before. India stands 10th in the overall medal tally list, with 12 gold, five silvers and 29 bronze medals. Speaking on the development, Ramachandran said, “We have to evaluate our current feasibility plan for the tournament, but we are confident of hosting a Games, which will introduce a new facet to our sporting ecosystem. Almost 2,200 athletes from across Asia participate in this tournament. I have spoken to the OCA President regarding our interests, and he has acknowledged our aggressiveness with regards to the bid. I cannot confirm about the government permission, you will come to know in two days’ time.”
Just prior to the opening ceremony, Ramachandran had a detailed meeting with OCA President Ahmed Al Fahad, but he refused to divulge any details regarding it. But, the 62-year old did confirm that talks regarding the bid have been positive.
Meanwhile, the on-going Asian Indoor Games has seen India yet to open its tally, but with favourable sports such as mat wrestling scheduled for day one, all that is likely to change. The country’s largest contingent is in Athletics, with as many 60 athletes making the short trip to Central Asia.