Batra bullish on Tokyo chances
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra on Wednesday said the parent body is keeping a close watch on the outbreak of coronavirus in China.
“We are very much on board. We are going by all the medical advisories and sharing them to the athletes. Nobody is misinformed. We are not lacking in sharing any information,” Batra said during a felicitation organised by the Bengal Olympic Association.
Talking about chances in Tokyo Olympic Games, the IOA chief is hopeful that India’s medals tally would go to double digits. “I am not putting up a figure but I think we can take our tally to double figures. In 2024 (Paris), we should aim for 20-plus medals and 40-plus in Los Angeles. Then only we can say we want to bid for 2032 Olympics,” he said.
The government in the budget gave a substantial hike of Rs 312.42cr to its flagship Khelo India programme but the highest reduction was seen in National Sports Federations with Rs 245cr being allocated, Rs 55 crore less than the revised Rs 300.85 for 2019-20.
Batra though refused to buy the fact that NSFs and SAI got a raw deal: “I don’t know where this apprehensions are coming from. In fact the budget has gone up by 500 crore.”
“As per current programme, senior (65 per cent) and junior (35 per cent) programmes used to come through SAI. We would give annual calendars. Entire junior programme now has gone to Khelo India.
“So actually that Rs 450 crore remains only for seniors now. That’s a substantial increase.”
Bengal on radar
Batra said the IOA has agreed in principle to hold the 2022 National Games in Bengal. “Definitely, in principle we have agreed for 2022. But it’s an ongoing process. We will take forward accordingly. 100 percent we are willing to come to Bengal. Let's be positive.” The 36th National Games, which was postponed several times, is finally slated for October 20-November 4 in Goa.