New Delhi, March 9: Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday (March 8) claimed India is progressing in the right direction to become a sporting powerhouse in the years to come as there is no dearth of talent in the country.
While addressing a gathering on the sidelines of BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year 2019 award in the national capital about India's preparations for this year's Tokyo Olympics, the Sports Minister assured things are progressing in the right direction and the country will send its biggest-ever Olympic contingent for the showpiece event Tokyo.
"The preparations for the Tokyo Olympics are going in full swing and even as we speak some of our athletes are participating in the Olympic qualifiers. We are hopeful of sending our biggest-ever Olympic contingent this year and we hope for a better medal haul in Tokyo," the Sports Minister said Monday (March 8).
Rijiju exuded confidence that his ministry and various stakeholders of sports in the country are working in the positive direction of making Indian a sporting powerhouse and the results will be visible in the coming years.
"We are constantly working towards inculcating a sporting culture in the country which will eventually help India become a sporting powerhouse in the years to come. We are still in the nascent stages of our target but we are confident of achieving it in the coming years."
Talking about the Modi Government's ambitious projects Khelo India, which aims at providing young athletes with a platform to compete at the highest level, the minister said such a pan-India competition is helping them develop a sporting culture in the country and even identify the young talents at an early stage of their career.
"We have launched Khelo India Youth Games, Khelo India University Games and Khelo India Winter Games to promote the sporting culture in the country and provide a platform to the youngsters to compete. These competitions are also helping us identify the talents at an early stage and nurture them for the future.
Rijiju, however, claimed that the Ministry and various stakeholders of sports in the country are working hard with a target of 2028 Los Angeles in mind where he wants the country to finish amongst top-10 in the medal tally.
"Apart from providing the best of facilities to our Olympic-bound athletes, our prime objective is to prepare the athletes of tomorrow. Our target is 2028 Los Angeles Olympics where we wish to finish amongst top-10 in the medals tally and we are making positive strides in this regard," the Minister added further.