New Delhi [India], April 30 (ANI): Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, wants India to improve the level in swimming in order to be in the top 10 at the Olympics 2028.
Rijiju on Thursday addressed swimming coaches from across India who participated in an online knowledge enhancement workshop organised jointly by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Swimming Federation of India.
"Historically, the top countries in the Olympics have bagged a large number of medals in swimming. In the last five Olympics, the USA has won about 31 percent of their total medals in swimming. There is a great opportunity for any country because of the sheer number of events that take place in aquatics. Today, we don't stand anywhere in swimming at the Olympic level but there is a huge potential in the sport if we act with dedication, proper planning, and adequate resources," Rijiju said.
Pointing out how swimmers from Asian countries such as China and Japan have been giving a tough competition to Americans, Europeans, and Australians, Rijiju said he does not see any reason why India should lag in the sport.
"I don't see any reason why India should lag behind. In the 2021 Olympics, we do not have the strength to win medals in swimming, but we can start preparing for the 2028 Olympics," he said.
The Sports Minister also urged Swimming Federation to make a roadmap and said that he will meet prominent coaches and swimmers of the country after India's fight against coronavirus.
"I urge the Swimming Federation to make a realistic roadmap listing out need for coaches, infrastructure and training facilities. Once the lockdown is lifted and we are successful in our fight against Covid19, I would like to meet prominent coaches and swimmers of the country and understand from them what we need to make a mark in swimming. There are some facilities that are world-class, the facility of JSW and the Army Institute in Pune which are very good, but we need many more such private academies to come forward to create more facilities," Rijiju said.
SAI has been organising online knowledge enhancement workshops for coaches in 24 disciplines and every day about 10,000 coaches participate across all disciplines in sessions that are taken by experts in India and abroad. (ANI)