'Indian's chances of winning medals in Beijing appear bright'

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Pune, June 28 (UNI) Expressing optimism and hope, former Olympians and sports administrators today observed that the chances of India garnering medals in the ensuing Beijing Olympics appear bright.

Speaking at a seminar ''India&Beijing Olympics'' organised as part of the ''Olympic Week'' celebrations, by the Maharashtra Olympic Association (MOA) at the Poona Club here, International Badminton referee Girish Natu, who is also the competition manager 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) said that India's hopes are laid on two shuttlers Anup Sridhar and Saina Nehval, who qualified to take part in the event. He said the world class facilities being created for the shuttle game at Balewadi will be a boon for the promotion of the game, with the World Junior Badminton Championship to be held at the venue immediately after the conclusion of the CYG from October 24 to November two.

Citing instances of Indian grapplers suffering due to biased supervision, MOA Secretary General Prof Balasaheb Landge said there was always a need for international referees and judges to supervise the Olympics.

2008 CYG Deputy Venue Manager Prakash Tulpule who is also the secretary general of Maharashtra State Table Tennis Association (MSTTA) expressed the hope that Indian paddler Sharat Kamal, who is currently ranked 72 in the world, will come upto the expectations of the nation.

Swimming Federation of India (SFI) official Ms Neeta Talavalikar also expressed hopes that three Indian swimmers, including Veerdhaval Khade of Kolhapur, who have qualified for the Beijing Games will give creditable performance and bring laurels to the country. However, Ms Talavaikar lamented the absence of the much needed ''Sports Culture''.

2008 CYG tennis discipline venue manager Mr Sunder Iyer said the coming together of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupati gives the country a chance to gain a medal.

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