Tokyo 2020 can provide platform for India’s best Olympic performance : Kiren Rijiju

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New Delhi:  Kiren Rijiju, MoS (IC), Youth Affairs and Sports, today expressed hope that upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics will provide India with a good platform to have best-ever performance in Olympics.

Speaking at the ‘9th Global Sports Summit – TURF 2019, organized by FICCI, jointly with Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and Government of Odisha, Mr Rijiju said that Tokyo 2020 is the immediate target for the government. However, there are certain limitations with regard to existing talent. “We can’t create champions overnight as it takes years and needs to ensure that there is an entire infrastructure from training to social support in place,” said Mr Rijiju.

He stated that the upcoming Paris Olympics in 2024 and the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028 will provide a good opportunity to significantly improve India’s performance. “If we can’t prepare for the next 8 years then we have to blame ourselves in terms of making policy, setting directions, channelizing resources. We must ensure that India is no more a country which is not taken seriously in Olympics,” added Mr Rijiju.

He said that there is no lack of resources or talent in the country and invited the corporate sector to invest and reap the benefits. “Sports is glamour as well as a big opportunity to do business. There are unlimited opportunities in India, and we must be able to unleash the talent we have,” added Mr Rijiju.

Highlighting the potential of the sport in various states, Rijiju said that each medium-sized State in India is larger than 50 per cent of the countries on this planet and urged each State to adopt and promote one sport as its core.

Ajmal Ghani, Senior Advisor to the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and Founder of Afghanistan Sports Federation said that the government has allocated 150-300 acres of land in 8 different zones to be built and invited Indian companies to invest in the sports sector. He said that Afghanistan has some of the most liberal investment laws.

Tushar Kanti Behera, Minister of Sports, Government of Odisha, said that the launch of Fit India campaign has made a significant impression on the masses. The state is also setting-up various training centres to target the youth.

Radhey Shyam Julaniya, Secretary, Department of Sports, Government of India said that when fitness industry grows, all things associated with it, whether it is apparel or food industry also grow, and these developments will lead to growth in infrastructure.

Sandip Somany, President, FICCI said that we are the youngest country in the world. This demographic dividend is set to play a big role in making India a $5 trillion economy and fitness will be a critical element in achieving this target.

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