The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has set an ambitious target of “double-figure” medals at the Tokyo 2020 games. India’s best performance came at London 2012 when it secured six medals. At Rio 2016 India bagged just two.
Speaking here on Saturday, IOA president Narinder Batra said that a good performance will prove significant in the lead up to India’s potential bid for the 2032 Olympics.
“The target [for 2020] is double-figure medals,” said Batra. “Then, if we have to bid for the 2032 Olympics, the target should be 25 medals in 2024 and 35-40 by 2028. Otherwise they won’t even allow you to bid. You have make sure the performance is such.”
Let off with warning
Back in February, the IOC had put in cold storage India’s prospective bids for all big-ticket events for refusing visas to two Pakistani shooters. In November 2018, the country was let off with a warning for denying visa to a boxer from Kosovo. But Batra was confident that the issues would be resolved soon.
“I have met Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and I am hopeful. The Pakistan issue is different. Now it is mainly Kosovo. IOC’s rules are that all member countries’ athletes have to be given visa.
“But India doesn’t recognise Kosovo. There is now a discussion, but we can resolve it. Even Russia doesn’t recognise Kosovo but it has hosted events. It will be sorted out,” he said.
“India will be a country which will host many events. We are looking at 2026 Youth Olympic games, and the IOC Congress in 2021.
“We have also expressed our interest to host the 2030 Asian Games so that the infrastructure will be ready early and it will just be a two-year gap to the Olympics,” added Batra.
Batra though chose to leave the choice of the host city open. “We will decide that in 2025. Mumbai, Delhi… right now we are calling Bhubaneswar as the sports capital of India. We are allowed three cities, so it can be anywhere. The only condition is that it has to have an international airport.”