IOA hopeful of medals at Beijing

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New Delhi, Jul 28 (UNI) Exuding confidence that the country will do well at the Beijing Olympics, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Secretary General Raja Randhir Singh today said shooters, boxers and archers are strong medal prospects at the Games.

''We are hopeful of winning medals in shooting, boxing, archery and tennis. We have world champions in all these sports,'' Randhir Singh told UNI here.

''The wrestlers will also do well in Beijing. We have also improved a lot in recent times,'' he added.

When asked about the athletes who he feels will do well at the Beijing Games he said,''Well, in shooting we have Manavjit Singh Sandhu. Then in boxing we have some very good prospects in Akhil Kumar, Vijender Kumar and AL Lakra. And of course there are Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.'' Speaking on India's poor record at the Olympics in the past, Randhir Singh said Indian sports has improved a lot in recent years, and was confident that India will become a force to reckon with in the international arena in the near future.

''We have come up to the Asian and Commonwealth levels. The funds and the facilities developed for the 2010 Commonwealth Games will go a long way in improving the standards,'' he asserted.

''We need more funds, facilities and better coaches.'' Randhir Singh has won the country's highest sports honour, the Arjuna Award. He represented India in shooting six times at the Olympics. He won the gold at the Bangkok Asian Games in 1978 and bronze (individual) and silver (team) at the 1982 Asiad at New Delhi.

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