Plan is to host more events in India, says Batra

Plan is to host more events in India, says Batra

IOA President Narinder Batra (right) presents a memento to Karnataka Olympic Association President K Govindaraj in Bengaluru on Saturday. DH Photo

Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra revealed on Saturday that in addition to the plan of bid for the 2032 Olympics Games, moves are in motion to try and bring more international events to the country as a build-up.

“Bidding starts in 2025 and we have already sent our expression of interest last year,” said Batra during a press conference here on Saturday.

“We are also looking at the 2026 Youth Olympic Games. 2021 - if I am not mistaken - IOC Congress, we have also asked for that to be held here. We have also expressed our interest to host the 2030 Asian Games so that the infrastructure will be ready early,” he said. With the IOC having suspended Olympic qualifying events in India over visa issues, there are matters at home that needs rectification first. The row over the archery association elections is also a sore point.

“Elections are already over and it is unanimous,” Batra said on the archery situation. “There is a Supreme Court order and I would not like to comment on that. Both the reports went to the court and in the one which had 11 administrators, the president had to resign because the election wasn’t recognised. The remaining 10 had to decide and eight decided that Delhi was the venue. Two decided that Chandigarh was the venue. 20 states have given letter as Delhi as the venue. It is for the Supreme Court to decide which is which.”

When asked about the Pakistani shooters’ visa issues ahead of the ISSF Shooting World Cup that led to the IOC decision, he was hopeful that it could be sorted out. 

Batra, also the international hockey federation president, said India’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympics next year is going well. “The target is double-digit medals,” he said.

The IOA president said no decision has been made to send smaller contingent for the Games. The Athletics Federation of India had mooted plans to send only medal prospects. “There are qualification criteria and if 20 qualify, 20 will go. They (AFI) may be focusing on medal prospects. Only thing I can tell you is that if people qualify, there is no reason why they won’t be sent,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, the IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta met the new Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to discuss various issues including increased assistance for athletes and preparations for Tokyo Olympics.

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