Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet India’s Olympic-bound athletes on Tuesday, July 13, four days before their scheduled departure to Tokyo. PM Modi will meet the Indian athletes via video conference on Tuesday, 5 PM.
A day before on Monday, newly-appointed Sports Minister and BJP MP from Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh Anurag Thakur had chaired a meeting after taking charge of the Sports ministry. Thakur took the stock of India’s preparations for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in a high-level meeting attended by officials of the Sports Ministry, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
MC Mary Kom, also held as the greatest Indian boxer of all time, will be India’s flagbearer in the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.
PM Modi Olympic meet: What is different about India in Tokyo 2020?
After performing its best so far with six medals in London Olympics 2012, India could win just two Olympic medals in Rio Olympics 2016 — Sakshi Malik in Wrestling (Bronze) and PV Sindhu in Badminton (Silver) – despite having sent its largest-ever Olympic contingent.
A dismal performance at Rio led to widespread concerns, following which Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed Sports Ministry to form a task force to recommend steps to be taken to improve India’s Olympic performance. The task force comprised eight members including Beijing Olympics’ Gold Medalist Abhinav Bindra, former Indian hockey captain Viren Rasquinha and ace Badminton coach Pullela Gopichand.
For Tokyo Olympics, the task force prepared an action plan which was subsequently submitted to the Sports Ministry. The highlight of the Tokyo Olympics action plan was the recommendation to form an empowered panel with an “athlete-centric, coach-led and system-driven”.
PM Modi Olympic meet: India’s medal hopefuls are all set for Tokyo
India is once again sending its biggest ever Olympic contingent, with 124 athletes from 18 sports disciplines set to travel to Tokyo on July 17 to take part in Olympics beginning from July 23. If India is to better its London Olympics performance, a lot will depend on the performance of India’s star athletes of recent years. Like London, shooting remains India’s best shot. However, boxing, badminton and wrestling remain the sports with high medal hopes. From shooters, Saurabh Chaudhary, Manu Bhaker, World number 1 Elavenil Valarivan to World Champion archer Deepika Kumari, the adrenaline of the Indian Olympic contingent is defined by the balance of experience of the energy of young athletes.