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Delhi Commonwealth Games to witness contest in 17 events

Patiala, Oct 12 (UNI) The Commonwealth Games, earlier called the British Empire Games, which started in 1930, will witness nail-biting competitions in 17 sports disciplines in the mega event to be held at Delhi in 2010.

These disciplines are---archery, athletics, aquatics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby 7s, shooting, squash, table tennis, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

An estimated 8000 sportspersons from 71 countries will be vying for top honours from October 3 to 14 in 2010 in the Indian capital.

According to the International Sports Division (ISD) in the Ministry of Youth Affairs&Sports (MYAS), India is expected to win close to 100 medals, which includes the 12 medals at stake in the Elite Athletes with Disability (EAD) group: swimming, athletics, table tennis and powerlifting, out of 863 medals at stake, during 2010 Commonwealth Games.

At the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, India had won 69 medals (30 gold, 22 silver and 17 bronze ). Four years later, India slumped to 50 medals (22 gold, 17 silver and 11 bronze) at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

To achieve its target, India is hiring the services of 36 foreign coaches who would be assisted by 218 Indian coaches.

The consensus among knowledgeable coaches is that India's target of winning close to 100 medals is merely on paper. Looking at things realistically and based on empirical knowledge, the thinking is that at the most India may win about 70 medals.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games are not far away and India's preparation to train sportspersons is yet to gather momentum as the foreign coaches in most of the disciplines are yet to arrive in India to start real good training. For mega sports event, like the Commonwealth Games, at least four years of rigorous training is imperative.

The ISD aught to know this better instead of just coughing out large sums of money for the training of sportspersons and hiring foreign coaches for the Games.


Story first published: Sunday, October 12, 2008, 11:32 [IST]
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