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India will win more medals in 2016 than 2012 Olympics, says IOA officials
India expects to better its 2012 Olympic performance in 2016 Olympics. The London Games was the best for Indian athletes with 6 medals. CJ Ashim Sunam spoke to IOA about expectations for 2016 Olympic Games.

ONCE THE Indian Olympic team were on their flight for London to participate in the Olympic Games some weeks back, the million-dollar question was - how many medals would the Indian team come back with? Now, we have the answer. The Indian team won a total of 6 medals - including 2 Silver and 4 Bronze medals. It was India's best performance till date during Olympic Games.

P Nath Mukherjee, Vice President of the Indian Olympic Association told this citizen journalist , “It is a vast improvement from the previous Olympics.” India had won 3 medals overall during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Hence, he says, “We are progressing.” Mukherjee already has high hopes from the Indian contingent that would head over to Rio, Brazil for the 2016 Games. He says, “Our 2016 performance is going to be much better than the 2012 Games.” Though, he does not want to outline the number of medals that he expects from the Rio games. Expectations from Indian sports fans are also thus going to increase. Hence, they will be under lots of pressure.

The IOA and the Indian athletes cannot afford to rest now. They have to prepare themselves for the 2016 Games, if they are to improve upon the 2012 performance. If they manage to do so, then it would play a major role in placing India on the Olympic map. The Government has identified the potential in these athletes as they are capable of winning Olympic medals. Hence, they need to put their best feet forward and provide all the sports with the required facilities. We do not give much credit to the government for anything, but this time around they provided good support to many sports, which has helped them. A little more effort from the government would brighten the Indian sporting scenario.

Arun Kumar, Chief coach of the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association, puts a valid point forward. He says that the athletes should not just prepare for the Olympics by attending Olympic camps for 3-6 months. He further adds, “Mary Kom and Sushil kumar won their Olympic medals by practising for 3-4 years. It is their consistent effort and practise that helped them bring home an Olympic medal.” Also, India had high hopes from Indian tennis, at least a medal. “The Indian team was also somewhat unlucky to miss out on few medals in Boxing, Lawn tennis, as there were very close matches,” concludes Arun. He, like Mukherjee, has expectations from India to better their 2012 Olympics hall in Rio.

On the same lines, Vijay Sinha, Hon Secretary General for the Badminton Association of India, says, “I hope more badminton players will qualify for the Rio Olympics.” More the number of athletes, more the chances of winning - a strategy that proved right going by the Indian contingent of 83 athletes, which was the highest in Indian Olympics history. So the first step for an Olympic medal requires an Olympic qualification.

There were some major lessons that India learnt from the Games such as - effort required for a podium finish, practise, dedication, importance of physical strength, and never give up attitude, etc. But, Mukherjee says the one of the most important lessons that India learnt from the Games was, “We should not unnecessarily hype any sport or athlete.” He refers to an example of the Indian Archery team where people talked very highly about the team, which made people sure of a medal in the sport. But, it was not to be.

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