The Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Friday reviewed performance of the Indian contingent for the recently-concluded Rio 2016 Olympics and suggested that focus must be on a certain set of sports disciplines in which the country could have a chance to excel. They identified swimming, triathlon and fencing.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also mentioned that the Central government would be forming a task force to oversee preparations for the next three Olympic games, starting with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The SAI looked into what went wrong in Rio, where a strong contingent of 119 members managed to bring home just two medals. The SAI, in their report, prepared by SAI Director General Injeti Srinivas, suggested a three-pronged strategy, where they mentioned radical changes needed to be made in order to get better performances from athletes. The report also said that the performance of foreign coaches needed to be regularly scrutinised.
The report has been sent to the Union Sports Ministry. "A set of sports disciplines may be identified where we have very little presence and the objective is of participation in Olympics. These could include disciplines like swimming, triathlon, fencing, judo, taekwondo etc," it stated.
The next category would consist of disciplines where efforts would be on progression to be within top-8 or top-16 positions. "Athletics is one major discipline here. The final category would be medal-focussed disciplines. These cannot be more than four to six disciplines. Here our effort would be to have a strong bench-strength to minimise uncertainty in medals. Most countries with strong sports achievements have such specialised approach," the report said.
"In these disciplines, we must ensure that our facilities are on par with the best in the world, the athletes are given the best in terms of training and exposure," it added.