India gets on the starting block for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The Mission Olympic Cell held a meeting in New Delhi Thursday, to discuss the roadmap to ensure that India’s performance at the Olympics will be its best ever.

The Enoshima Yacht Harbour, venue for the sailing competition of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics.   -  AFP

A team of officials undertook a visit to Japan recently to apprise itself of the conditions the Indian athletes would likely experience at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) held a meeting here on Thursday to discuss the roadmap in order to ensure that India’s performance at the Olympics would be its best ever and the TOPS athletes will get all possible support to ensure this.

According to a Sports Authority of India (SAI) press release, a presentation was made by the Secretariat of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) following the visit of a recce team to Tokyo in July. The recce team was led by SAI officials and comprised representatives from Olympic Gold Quest, Jindal Steel Works and GoSports.

The team visited the Indian Embassy in Japan as well as the Tsukuba and Nippon University, which has international-standard sports facilities and from where Japan has produced a number of Olympic medallists. Both universities were willing to arrange training for the Indian team ahead of the Olympics.

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The officials also interacted with the Indian diaspora to identify appropriate accommodation and food for the Indian athletes not only during the Tokyo Olympics but also for any training and visits of the athletes before the sporting event.

The MOC deliberated on the strategy to provide the best possible support to TOPS athletes in their preparations. Among the major decisions taken were creation of a transparent selection policy specific to each discipline in collaboration with the respective National Sporting Federations and strengthening the relationship between all athletes and coaches to create a friendly and professional association based on mutual trust.

A roadmap will be charted for each athlete (training, competition and support roadmap) in discussion with the athlete's coach, federation and leading sports scientists. Expert feedback will be sought from national sporting federation coaches. The national observer and two independent coaches before taking any course of action.

The TOPS team, according to the discussions, also plans to develop a high-performance network of coaches, academies and sports science specialists in India and globally. The objective of this exercise will be to build a strong sport science support system. The team will, over the ensuing period, look at sensitising and educating athletes through workshops on key relevant topics and lifeskills.