IOA gives advance payment to qualified sportspersons

Fulfilling its promise to share the sponsors money with qualified sportspersons for the Olympics, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has paid advance installment of Rs one lakh to the hockey players who left for European tour on their way to the London Games.

"All the qualified athletes will be paid Rs one lakh in advance and rest will be given to them later," IOA Acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra said here today. "Each athlete going to London will get between Rs 2.5 to 3 lakh from IOA," he added.

Malhotra further clarified that in case IOA gets more sponsors before the Games, that money would also be shared with the sportspersons. Stating that it was a matter of pride that India will be sending its largest ever Olympic contingent this time, Malhotra said, "So far 82 sportspersons from 13 disciplines have made the cut and one or two more athletes are likely to qualify.

"All these sportspersons have qualified as per the norms set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and majority of them made the cut while taking part in the International competitions."

Malhotra said it will not be prudent on his part to single out particular sportsperson(s) as medal winning prospect because "for me the whole contingent is IOA's family and I am confident everybody will give their best".

"It is every sportsperson's dream to participate in the Olympics and now those who have got the chance should come up to the expectations of the countrymen." The IOA acting president said this time all the sportspersons have been provided with best of training and facilities.

"They have had enough of international exposure. Most of the athletes are training abroad and will directly fly to London from respective places of training," he said. Urged the sportspersons to act as great ambassadors of the country, Malhotra said, "Your conduct on and off the field should be exemplary because you will also not only be playing for the country but also representing it before the world."

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