Buoyed by a line-up of many sponsors supporting the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday announced a hefty prize of ₹20 lakh for every gold medallist.

In a warm send-off function here on Thursday in which the smart playing and training kit for the team was also unveiled in the presence of many leading athletes, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta announced that the silver and bronze medallists would be given ₹10 lakh and ₹7.50 lakh, respectively.

India had won 66 medals - including 26 gold - in the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Adidas will provide its latest supernova shoes as the performance footwear partner for the contingent. Maanyavar will offer the ceremonial kit, while Herbalife will be the official nutrition partner.

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The IOA has roped in JSW Inspire , Amul , Adani and a string of other leading brands to support the 215-strong Indian contingent, which has 107 women athletes.

‘Special place’

Anil Khanna, the acting president of the IOA, said that the “Commonwealth Games has a special place in our heart,” as India has been winning a large number of medals. He thanked the Union Sports Ministry for its tremendous support in the preparation of the athletes. Even though shooting has not been included in the current edition, robbing India of a rich haul of medals that it has been winning over many editions, the introduction of women’s T20 cricket should be of interest.

 

With the postponement of the Asian Games in China, the IOA has opted to utilise the time to hold the National Games in Gujarat.

Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur gave a vibrant speech to inspire the athletes and expressed confidence that they would play their best without being under pressure to win the best haul of medals. Thakur also announced that the suggestions by members of the Mission Olympic Cell during a meeting earlier in the day would be considered for implementation so as to enhance India’s performance in the international arena. He reeled off the best performance by Indian athletes across many disciplines since the Tokyo Olympics, and said that the focus was to make India a sports power in the next 10 years or so.

To stress on the government’s commitment to sports, Thakur also spoke about the establishment of the National Sports University in Manipur at a cost of about ₹700 crore.

The Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham, U.K, from July 28 to August 8.