Kalmadi envisage Golden sports era for India after 2010

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Beijing, Aug 9 (UNI) Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi today envisaged a Golden sports era for the country after 2010, the year Delhi will host the Commonwealth Games.

And about the Olympic medal, he said 2012 London Games will see India getting medals.

''We should wait for the 2012 Olympics for the medals,'' he told Indian mediapersons here.

The IOA chief was at pain to explain the reason for Indian sportspersons failure to perform well at events like Olympiad saying, ''We had to struggle for money, the shooters did not get better ammunition and how you expect them to get medals.'' He, however, admitted that Shooters have been getting lot of international exposure in recent years.

''It will take some time before we become sports power house,'' he added.

The reason for his optimism for the Golden era after 2010 was that Union Government has sanctioned Rs 700 crore budget for training of the sportspersons.

''It is a great news, now the sportspersons will have 310 days training, including 100 days abroad. We can have foreign coaches and every thing will be available to the players,'' he said.

''Just wait for 2010,'' he pleaded the journalists and then talked about the Delhi Commonwealth Games, which he promised will have much better opening ceremony than what ''we saw here'' yesterday.

About large number of officials coming here, Kalmadi said, ''Their number is less than the mediapersons from India and added that people like Shovna Narayan are here to study the games.'' About dressing fiasco in the Indian March past contingent in the opening ceremony, Kalmadi said all the men were dressed in Shervanis and women were allowed to wear different coloured saris, however, Sania Mirza and Suneetha Rao came into the march past contingent wearing jeans.

''The tennis players came straight from court after practising and there was no time for them to change, the chef-de-mission Baljit Singh Sethi had a choice either not to allow them or let them march past in the jeans, he decided later,'' he said adding ''I don't think it is such a big issue.'' UNI HSB RKM HS1615

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