New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) Expecting a great show by national athletes, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary general Rajeev Mehta on Wednesday said that the country looks forward to be in the top five medal winning nations in the upcoming international events in 2022.
"In the upcoming international events in 2022, India looks forward to emerge as the top five medal holder countries. We aim to double the monetary award given to our winning players by 2024," Mehta said during the function organised by Religare Group to felicitate the Tokyo Paralympics and Olympic medallists here.
If the Tokyo Olympics was a stunning show for Indians courtesy Neeraj Chopra's golden feat, the Tokyo Paralympics was a full-fledged medal shower. While the tally at the Olympics stood at an all-time high of 7 medals for India, the Paralympics count was a whopping double figure - 19.
Tokyo Paralympic silver medallist Suhas LY, Olympics medallists Ravi Dahiya, Bajrang Punia and 2012 London Olympics bronze winner Yogeshwar Dutt were felicitated by the Religare Group on Wednesday.
"I thank Religare for honouring the Olympics and Paralympic players. Playing in the event was a very tough journey. My family always stood by my side. Death of my father was a moment that shook my life. I worked hard on my passion of playing badminton," said Suhas.
"As a DM I was participating in an event in a district of UP. I later became the first unseeded player to win in Asian championship. It was tough to balance my work as DM of Noida and playing badminton for my country," he added.
Religare announced that it will sponsor deserving athletes and sporting institutions.
"Not only is sports critical for the development of the youth and society but it is an important tool towards nation-building since it fosters national pride and unity," said Dr. Rashmi Saluja, Executive Chairperson of Religare Group.
"We are proud of our association with these champions including Suhas, Ravi Dahiya, Bajrang Punia and Yogeshwar Dutt. I am confident that the youth of the country will get inspired by these champions and many more names will soon emerge in this arena," Dr. Rashmi added.