Rio Olympics let down India with master plan for Olympic glory

Indian athletes during their welcome ceremony at the Olympic Games Village in Rio

After a disappointing performance in Rio’s staging of Summer’s 31st Olympic Games last month, an Indian government think tank has come up with a strategy to help the country achieve 50 medals at the 2024 Games which yesterday confirmed Rome dropping out of the bid to host, leaving Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest in.

India sent more than 120 athletes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with hopes of exceeding the six medals won at London in 2012, but returned with a silver in badminton and a wrestling bronze.

Trinidad and Tobago represented by 32 athletes as the largest ever competition challenge returned with a solitary medal , a bronze, courtesy London 2012 Games javelin throw gold medallist Keshorn Walcott.

The National Institution for Transforming India Aayog has however, orchestrated a plan to help increase that tally, which in the short-term includes prioritizing ten sports with a high winning potential.

The plan also called for a strategy to spot talent from tribal and rural areas that had under-developed sporting infrastructure.

“Efforts need to be undertaken at each level, from family and communities to schools, regional academies, states and national level,” the report titled ‘Let’s Play’ said.

“These efforts need to be aimed at radically increasing the level of sporting activities, filling the gaps in the system and monitoring for lags.”

Indian Premier League (IPL)It also recommended the need for extensive marketing strategies, and suggested drawing experience from cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL) to attract investment and increase viewership.

The medium to long term recommendations include developing a school curriculum inclusive of both sports and academics and the need to encourage children to focus on a specialized sport.

The plan, which is open for public consultation, also advocated for the recruitment of world class coaches and trainers and improving sports infrastructure through public-private partnerships