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Tokyo Olympics 2020: Top sports administrators predict rich medal haul for India

Narinder Batra
Narinder Batra
Modified 21 Feb 2020

What's the story?

Top Sports administrators in the country have predicted a rich medal haul from the Indian contingent travelling for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The background

In all these years, Indian athletes have managed to win a total of 28 Olympic medals. Of these, 9 medals were gold, 7 Silver, while 12 were Bronze. 

India's best-ever performance at the quadrangular event was during the 2012 London Olympics. Sushil Kumar and Vijay Kumar won a Silver in Wrestling and Shooting, respectively.

Gagan Narang (Shooting), Saina Nehwal (Badminton), Mary Kom (Boxing), and Yogeshwar Dutt (Wrestling) were the four Indian sportspersons to return with Bronze medals. Thereby, India's overall tally at the 2012 Summer Olympics was 6 medals. 

Meanwhile, PV Sindhu won a Silver in badminton and Sakshi Malik won a Bronze in Wrestling at the 2016 Rio Olympics. These were the only two medals Indian athletes won during the 2016 edition. 

With an extremely capable Indian contingent gearing up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, many of the top administrators of the country have expressed their high expectations. 

The heart of the matter

Sharing his predictions, the President of the National Rifle Authority of India (NRAI), Raninder Singh, said (as per TOI):

"Anywhere between 4-10. I have faith in my athletes." 

Meanwhile, the President of the Indian Olympic Association, Narinder Batra feels that India's medal tally at Tokyo Olympics 2020 may be in 'Double Digits.'

These predictions were made during the event held in Delhi for the launch of the book - Dreams of a Billion: India and the Olympic Games, that has been written by Boria Majumdar and Nalin Mehta. 

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju remarked:

"We should be talking about figuring in the top five (at the Olympics). But I am not using this top five' yet. I am talking about top 10 in 2028. But we have to work on that." 

He also mentioned that the job at hand is to ensure that India becomes a global sporting powerhouse. 

Those present were high in spirits after hearing the predictions of Narinder. However, Pullela Gopichand, who was also amongst those present, touched upon a more serious topic that was -- how to deal with failure?

Sharing his wisdom, the former badminton player and veteran coach said:

"For me, in success or failure, the process is more important. The way in which we approach the sport is important. At the end of the day, even if you win, it's important to put your head down and break the process into components -- endurance, strength, technique, mental ability. Try to improve yourself in each block. Failure is also the same thing. You just go back to the drawing board and break it down into components."

What's next?

Expecting Indian athletes to win medals in double digits at the Olympics is still a tall task, given the current sporting landscape within the country and the tough international competition there is.

However, with the Khelo India Games (Youth, University, and Winter), the future looks promising. 

Published 21 Feb 2020, 16:21 IST
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