India was one of the founding members of the biggest sporting event in the world, the ASIAN GAMES, after Olympics. We have been actively participating since then and are the only country along with Japan who has bagged medals at every instalment of the games till now. Athletics Federation of India has predicted that India will win close to 20 Athletics medals in the upcoming 2018 Asian Games to be held Jakarta from August 18 to September 2, 2018. Every Indian need to watch these games for a lot of reasons.
India can go past 2014 medal tally at 2018 Asian Games – Athletics Federation of India
“We have won almost 15 medals in the last edition, so we should win somewhere around 18 to 19-20 medals this time. Hopefully, if all the athletes are able to sustain their peak, then they will be able to do much better. We will do much better because the competition at the Asian games compared to the CWG is of less magnitude,’’ said CK Valson, secretary of Athletics Federation of India.
Turning his attention to the athletes, he tipped CWG gold medallist, Neeraj Chopra and Mohammad Anas, to shine again in the Asian Games. “We have Neeraj Chopra in the javelin throw, then Mohammad Anas for the 400 metres, then the 4×400 metres men’s and women’s team”
“We will definitely be winning a medal in the discus throw event. The same applies to shot put and triple jump men. We have good chances in the heptathlon women’s event. These are the events where Indians can outshine others in the Games.’’
Valson expressed his happiness over India’s show in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. “In the Commonwealth Games, most of the athletes did extremely well and we were very happy with the performance. People like Neeraj Chopra won a gold medal, Seema Punia won silver and some of the athletes even broke national records. So it was a good performance as far as we are concerned.’’
India’s team for this year’s event is strong and more determined than any other time. The young rising stars have been continuously performing at the world stage and the experienced athletes are putting more efforts than ever. With this, it might surprise us as Indians if we surpass the prediction of 20 medals, by the AFI.
Overall sports development a key to winning medals at Asian Games and Olympics
When asked about doping, Valson said that tainted athletes should not be given any cash incentives. “Once an athlete is caught in doping, then they shouldn’t be given incentives. This will encourage the clean athletes to trust the system and give their best. The government should do their bit too in trying to curb doping,’’ stated CK Valson.
Doping has been a prominent issue when it comes to the world of sports. This practice not only poses threat to careers of athletes but to the fairness of the games. Sports has been an avenue to test out human capabilities as well as push humans to their limits. But when the athletes start using drugs, it nullifies the efforts of the other clean opponents. If this is not controlled, it might lead to widespread adoption of the practice or causing demotivation for the athletes who keep it clean. India is no stranger to this widespread practice and we have seen many big names involved in the past. But AFI is determined to take this issue seriously. In a series of recent tweets, AFI expressed its views on the matter.
AFI has always said tht in national camp athletes are tested every few days. Camp or no Camp, Zero Tolerance to doping- AFI President @Adille1 #WinClean #SayNoToDope#AsianGames2018@IndiaSports @iaaforg @Media_SAI @asianathletics @PTI_News @wada_ama pic.twitter.com/5yA4PYPwO5
— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) August 2, 2018
Attention athletes, coaches & managers #TeamIndiaAthletics @asiangames2018 NO NEEDLE POLICY- https://t.co/8FeNKa42BF@Media_SAI @IndiaSports @wada_ama @nitinarya99 @kaypeem @ioaindia pic.twitter.com/hx3AgjrYIr
— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) August 1, 2018
Role of Khelo India School Games
Valson seems to be very optimistic. He said that the Khelo India Games had turned out to be a success among schools. “Khelo India is a project that is trying to tap talent at the grass root level. It is a good competition but they still have to go deeper in the grass root level. They should motivate most of the district areas and rural areas and encourage them to come out and participate in large numbers. One can only spot real talent through mass participation and that will surely win you a medal in the long run.” Having an athlete as a sports minister definitely helps the cause. But at the same time, we need strong procedures and processes to identify the right talent for these games. Identification is just one part of developing talent. Since most of our athletes come from rural backgrounds it is the need of the hour, for the federations and agencies working in the Indian sports ecosystem to hand hold the identified talent, through the path of success.
He concluded by giving an example of how the Chinese athletics system works. “In India, we have 800 to 900 athletes participating, but when I went to China, I saw 4,000 athletes participating in a championship. And those 4,000 athletes are the selected ones from a much larger group. We also need to have something like that to get the best results.”
We have compiled stories of many of the athletes who would be performing at the Asian Games 2018. Hope you like them.
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