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Sports minister Mansukh Mandaviya hopeful of India bettering its medals tally at Paris Olympics

IOA chief Usha said athletes in Paris would be provided with the best support system.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 17:02 IST

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New Delhi: Sports Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday expressed optimism about the Indian contingent setting a new benchmark at the upcoming Paris Olympics, emphasising that sports have been a priority area in recent years.

"I am confident that this contingent will sustain India's growth trajectory in sports," said Mandaviya during the ceremonial send-off of the Paris-bound athletes and the unveiling of the playing kits of the contingent.

"We saw a spurt from two medals in 2016 Rio to seven in Tokyo as India rose from 67th to 48th (position), largely due to Neeraj Chopra's javelin gold. I am hoping that our athletes will take us even higher on the medal table this time."

Attended by athletes, Indian Olympic Association president PT Usha and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri, the event also highlighted the government's Target Olympic Podium Scheme in supporting athletes ahead of the Games.

"The government has supported athletes through various schemes such as TOPS offering specialised support to those who excel." The Paris-bound Indian contingent's three kits -- ceremonial dress, playing attire, and performance shoes with travel gear -- were unveiled.

"This event is not just about the unveiling of uniform and ceremonial dress but a symbol of the dreams and aspirations of billions of Indians who stand united behind the athletes," he said.

"The government has worked relentlessly to support athletes across disciplines to keep their world ranking high, to send them to train in different locations in India and abroad, to engage renowned foreign experts as coaches and support staff and to ensure the sports ecosystem keeps pace with the evolution around the world,” he added.

IOA chief Usha said athletes in Paris would be provided with the best support system.

"We have assembled a strong team under Dr Dinshaw Pardiwala's leadership. It includes sports medicine experts, wellness specialists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and a sleep scientist." "For the first time, IOA will also give a participation allowance to the athletes and the coaching and support staff. I am confident India will come back from Paris with its best showing in any Olympics," said Usha.

The Indian contingent comprises of close to 120 athletes, including Olympic gold medallist in javelin throw Neeraj Chopra, a record number of 21 shooters a 16-member men's hockey team.

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Published 30 June 2024, 17:02 IST

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