AFI ready with its 'Target Olympics' plan

AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said the federation will continue with its ‘no non-campers in relay team’

Indian Athletes P.U. Chitra, Jinson Johnson, Arpinder Singh, Md. Anas, Sudha Singh showcase their medals won after a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday.   -  PTI

The country may be desperately waiting for its first Olympic medal but AFI President Adille Sumariwalla feels that India is now a superpower in athletics.

Success in any sport is measured by how athletes perform at the Olympics and the AFI President has now chalked out a plan to succeed on the big stage.

“We have a long-term plan, we have been working quietly and we are not going to reveal our plans to anybody. Twelve athletes qualified for the 2012 London Olympics but in Rio 2016, 34 qualified. We have now started looking at quality,” said Adille in a chat with Sportstar.

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“We have submitted our plans for the Olympics to the Government, our target events have all been given to them confidentially."

Adille also made it clear that the AFI would continue with its rule that non-campers would not be included in the relay team despite many athletes going to various courts challenging it.

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“This rule we will not change. The non-campers were not there this time, they will not be there again. If you’re part of the relay team, you must be in the camp.”

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But what happens if there are a hundred girls producing excellent timings in the quartermile?

“The Government is ready to pay for every single person at the camp. It is willing to do anything for us, we need to just give a plan. We can have 5000 people in the camp,” said the AFI chief.

“We have not only called the athletes, we have also invited their coaches to the camp. And in individual event, if you qualify for major Games, before going you have to give a trial. And you will be dope-tested.”

Adille also said that he would find out why almost all the walkers failed at Jakarta. “Almost all our athletes have fought in the final, except the walkers who got disqualified and we are looking at that more closely.”