World champion Sushil Kumar assured that Indian sport would retain the momentum of the strong performance in the Commonwealth Games and come up with a sterling fare in the Asian Games in Guangzhou from November 12 to 27.

In a media conference organised by Samsung India to announce incentives for medal-winning performances in the Asian Games, Sushil said the training of all the Indian athletes was according to a plan and observed that the long-term benefits would definitely reflect in the London Olympics in 2012.

Though he will not be competing in China, owing to an injury, Sushil, one of the ‘Olympic Ratnas' gaining support from the company, said the wrestlers would continue to excel.

Giving it their best

While boxers Suranjoy Singh, Akhil Kumar and Nanao Singh assured quality fare on behalf of the Indian contingent and asserted that someone would emulate Dingko Singh in winning an Asian Games gold medal in boxing after 1998, shooters Abhinav Bindra, Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Ronjan Singh Sodhi emphasised they would give their best through video footage played at the function.

The Secretary-General of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Randhir Singh, thanked Samsung for its consistent support for Indian sports, and appreciated the government for clearing a jumbo contingent of 843, including 609 athletes.

He hoped the athletes, including 249 women, would bring glory to the country with their performance in the Asian Games.

The Deputy Managing Director of Samsung India, Ravinder Zutshi, announced prizes of 40, 32 and 22-inch LCD television sets for the gold, silver and bronze medal winners respectively. He also said the ‘Most Valuable Performance' (MVP) from the Indian contingent would be rewarded with Rs. 2.5 lakh worth Samsung products.

“We have been supporting Indian sports for 12 years. We do not think offering cash rewards for medals is the only way to encourage sportspersons. We believe in consistently supporting them through their growth,” he remarked.

Narang's call

Talking about Gagan Narang being the flag-bearer at the opening ceremony, hours before his event in air rifle in Guangzhou, Randhir Singh said it was entirely up to the athlete to make the decision.

“To us, the athlete is top priority,'' said the IOA secretary-general. He said he expected the medal count of the Indian contingent to rise from 53 in the last edition to around 80 this time.