IWF hopes for six Indians to qualify for Tokyo 2020

The Indian Weightlifting Federation president Birendra Prasad Baishya has stated the body's target to enable six Indian weightlifters to gain a qualification for Tokyo 2020.

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was one of two Indian weighflifters (the other being Sathish Kumar Sivalingam) to feature in the Olympics earlier this year.   -  Reuters

Six weightlifters are targetted by Indian Weighlifting Federation (IWF) to enable them to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, according to IWF president Birendra Prasad Baishya.

Speaking exclusively to Sportstar on the sidelines of the 69th men and the 32nd women senior National weightlifting championship at the Ponjesly College of Engineering here on Wednesday, Baishya said, "I am very happy with the way the tournament has been conducted here. I am eagerly looking forward to the Commonwealth Games qualifying event in Australia in September 2017. We are planning to have advance training for the players in Australia before the qualifying events."

He added: "Most of the players will benefit from this advanced training and our performance should be good in the qualifying events. We are expecting more gold medals from our weightlifters in the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April 2018, and after that, medals in the Asian Games at Indonesia in August 2018, since we haven't had one in a long time. The IWF is targetting six weightlifters, in comparison to two this year at Rio, for qualification in the Tokyo Olympics in July, 2020."

Doping policy

The ex -Rajya Sabha MP has always been strict with regards to doping in the game. "I always believed that the game needs to be clean and I am very disappointed with the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA). As per its new policy they are not testing each and every player in the competition."

He insisted on taking this issue up with the Ministry of Sports and also wanted to make sure that all players are tested in the National camp at Patiala next month. However, not every player is tested during a competition, be it anywhere in the world.

"Next years' National junior and youth weightlifting championship will be held at Jammu & Kashmir (Srinagar) while the senior Nationals at Bangalore and I would like to see more National records," he signed off.