Rijiju, Batra expect double digit medal haul in Tokyo Olympics

Officials also insisted that the vaccination process for all the athletes will begin soon although no details were announced.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.

Indian sports officials are expecting a medal haul in double digits at the Tokyo Olympics. Speaking at a webinar to mark 100 days to the Games, both Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and IOA president Narinder Batra insisted it was a realistic expectation given the number of qualified athletes.

“Every day is important to all athletes hereon. India with its vast population must play a bigger role in the Olympic Movement and that is possible by winning more medals. India must cross double digits (in medals),” Rijiju said.

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“We are expecting 120-130 athletes to qualify for the Olympics and expect the Indian contingent to be about 185-190 people, including coaches and support staff.

“I expect the medal haul to be in double digits this time,” Batra added.

Officials also insisted that the vaccination process for all the athletes will begin soon although no details were announced. Indian rowers and archers have already been vaccinated at the Army Sports Institute while some like wrestler Bajrang Punia made personal arrangements.

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With the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, Sports Authority of India has also issued a new SOP that includes weekly RT-PCR tests and immediate hospitalisation and isolation to affected athletes.

The webinar was attended by IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta, Sports Secretary Ravi Mital and SAI DG Sandip Pradhan among others. A series of special films on the qualified athletes was also launched with more planned.