India’s sports minister Kiren Rijiju is hopeful that the Indian contingent heading to Tokyo 2020 will surpass its previous best medal haul of six medals that the nation managed at London 2012.
Speaking at the FICCI's "Turf 2019" Global Sports Summit, Rijiju said,”Tokyo is an immediate target with the existing talent. I hope Tokyo 2020 will be a good platform for India to have its best-ever Olympic performance.”
India Olympic ambitions beyond 2020
Speaking of his expectations for the Games after Tokyo 2020, Rijiju said,"With the time which is in our hands, we must ensure that India is no more a country which is not taken seriously in the Olympics. I will definitely not be satisfied as a sports minister of the country if we don't win medals (in Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028).”
"If we can't prepare ourselves for something that far (2028 Los Angeles Olympics) then we have to blame ourselves in terms of policymaking, setting a direction and channelizing the resources," he added.
Focus on international events
The sports minister also stressed upon the importance of Indian athletes putting forth their best performances at international sporting events. "As a young nation, we can't afford to lag behind in the international level of competition -- be it the Olympics, Asian Games or any of the world championships.
"We are a young nation that's why we have to set an ambitious target. In the meeting with the Indian Olympic Association and the National Sporting Federations, I had given them a very ambitious target. It's not easy but not impossible either. We are rising. In the last six months, our ranking and performance have increased. Most of the results I've calculated are the best-ever," he concluded.