India announce big contingent

It will be India’s largest ever contingent to take part in the Games. “We are delighted with the progress made by Indians in a number of Olympic sports in the past few years and are confident that our athletes will do well in the Asian Games as well to sustain the national sports fans’ interest,” said IOA president Suresh Kalmadi.

“Our contingent will draw confidence from India’s wonderful showing in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games where our athletes won a record 101 medals including 38 gold. They are aware of the different challenges presented in the Asian Games and are geared up to deliver their best efforts,” he said.

Besides the 609 athletes, the Indian contingent will include 127 coaches, 44 managers, eight doctors, seven physiotherapists, six masseurs, nine technical officials, 12 contingent officials, six government observers (athletics, cycling, kabaddi, rowing, shooting and wrestling), five nominees of the Sports Authority of India and 10 other officials.

According to sports ministry sources, IOA had planned to send 718 sportspersons but the proposal was shot down. The ministry also did not clear teams in roller skating and dragon boat racing. As per the IOA list, India will also not take part in dance sport, making its debut, besides cricket.

Athletics will once again be the biggest part of the contingent, with 40 men and 31 women set to travel to Guangzhou.

The IOA list also includes a nine-member equestrian team, though there were doubts over their participation initially. The sports ministry had sought clarifications from the Equestrian Federation of India over media reports that one of the horses had tested positive for a banned substance and another one had been suffering from tick fever.
In the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, India sent 432 athletes to compete in 31 disciplines and finished with a total of 53 medals including 10 gold, 17 silver and 26 bronze.

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