India aims for boxing, wrestling, archery medals at London Olympics

October 23rd, 2008 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) India should win medals in boxing, wrestling and archery at the 2012 London Olympics, parliament was informed Thursday.”We have earmarked Rs.678 crore (Rs.6.78 billion) for the next three years. The money has been provided, the federations have drawn up their list of probables and the coaches have been identified. We definitely should win medals in boxing, wrestling and archery at the London Olympics,” Sports and Youth Affairs Minister M.S. Gill said in the Rajya Sabha.

He was responding to a supplementary from Birendra Prasad Baishya (Asom Gana Parishad) on India’s preparations for the London Olympics.

Earlier, Kumar Deepak Das, also of the Asom Gana Parishad, demanded a centre of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in every state in the country, particularly in the northeast.

In reply, Gill noted that a major SAI centre had been opened in Meghalaya capital Shillong and added: “Whatever we can do, we will do.”

The minister, however, sidestepped a question on whether the government proposed to make sports compulsory in schools.

“India needs games that are inexpensive. I am a cricketer but I won’t promote cricket. Golf is too elitist. What games are to be played? Those that can be played on any turf and in any season. That means football, volleyball and athletics,” Gill said.

In this context, he noted that the government would be spending Rs.5,000 crore (Rs.50 billion) over the next 10 years on creating sports infrastructure at the village and block levels.

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