New Delhi, July 25 : Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi wants athletes to win medals in boxing, tennis and shooting in Beijing Olympics. Addressing a send-off ceremony for the first batch of the 57-member contingent, Kalmadi said here that he hoped the 'Indian Express' pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi would put behind their conflicts and strike it big in Beijing.
He said: "I'm happy that Bhupathi is teaming up with Leander. They have done their national duty. I wish them all the best."
"I've my hopes on Sania Mirza also. She and Sunitha Rao can pull off a surprise in Beijing," he said.
He said India had fair chances of winning medals in shooting with a nine-member contingent spearheading the Indian challenge.
"Hopefully we'll win medals in Beijing. The shooters are right on top of the list and I'm expecting the boxers as well to win there. We have strong chance in archery and then of course you have tennis doubles," the IOA chief said.
Kalmadi said the Indian contingent, accompanied by 42 support staff, would depart in batches.
Gunning for an Olympic medal, ace marksman Manavjit Singh said he would not shy from spilling blood on the shooting range if that ensures a podium finish in Beijing.
Manavjit said: "We will not return from Beijing with a drop of blood in our body for we would have spilled it in the shooting range there."
He also said for long, athletes have been subjected to unfair treatment from all quarters with all the adulation reserved for an 'obvious sport'.
"Just when Olympic approached, we were plucked out of practice grounds, dusted and instructed to win medal for the country. When we failed, we are asked to explain reasons and all sort of things were written about us. Fortunately, things have finally changed," he said.
Story first published: Friday, July 25, 2008, 20:10 [IST]
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