The Olympic Task Force, which was created with the sole idea of recommending improvements to enhance India's performance at Olympics, submitted its report to Sports Ministry on Friday. The report has suggested multiple ways to lay a foundation for long-term athlete development in the country.
India sent a total of 118 athletes to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics which was India's biggest ever contingent sent to Olympics. India was eyeing at least 12 medals in Brazil after winning six at London Olympics in 2012. However, India returned back with only two medals courtesy PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik who won silver and bronze respectively bringing some respite to India's poor show.
With criticism pouring over India's dismal performance at the Olympics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the formation of an Olympic Task Force to create a plan which will help India's case in 2020, 2024 and 2028 Olympics. Following the order, an eight-member panel consisting the likes of badminton ace and presently the national coach, Pullela Gopichand and former Indian hockey team captain, Viren Rasquinha was formed. The committee met Union Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas and submitted their report suggesting elaborate schemes to help India perform at not only the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but at the next two Olympics too.
The highlight of the report were to form an 'Empowered Steering Committee' for Tokyo 2020, the initiation of 'Pradhan Mantri Gold Card' which would help athletes and their coaches to book tickets in emergency quotas and to open a 24-hour National Anti-Doping Agency helpline that would assist the athletes in identifying what is permissible for an athlete.
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