India wants to host the Olympics, says Sports Minister Anurag Thakur
Speaking on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Asian Junior and Youth Weightlifting Championships, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said India will organise the Olympics in the future, insisting hosting quality tournaments will help the country become a sporting super power.
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Earlier this month, Victoria in Australia shocked organisers with its decision to withdraw as host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games, owing to rising costs. When asked if India was thinking of hosting the tournament, Thakur said the country will organise the Olympics.
“We are working in that direction and when the right time comes we will give you the good news,” he mentioned. He highlighted the appealing performance of Indian athletes and accountability from the federations, adding there is transparency and professionalism.
India is hosting the Asian Junior and Youth Weightlifting Championships for the first time. Hundreds of athletes from 18 different countries across Asia will compete in the continental tournament from July 28 to August 5 at the Gautam Buddha University.
The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) had organised the Commonwealth Senior, Junior and Youth Championship at the same venue less than a couple of weeks back from July 12 to 16. Thakur highlighted the government’s wish for India to host tournaments across various disciplines.
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The final contingent list for the upcoming Asian Games 2023, to be held in China from September 23 to October 8, will be revealed soon, the minister said, while mentioning 1,000 new Khelo India centres will be ready for inauguration at the end of the year.
The Indian sports ministry has decided to relax its stance following an earlier mandate that only teams that have been in the top eight can represent India in the Asian Games – subsequently allowing the Indian men’s and women’s football teams to participate.