Jinx broken at Beijing, Kalmadi promises bagful of medals for India

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New Delhi, Aug 27 (UNI) The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi believes that the trio of Abhinav Bindra, Vijender Kumar and Sushil Kumar has not only brought laurels to the country but has also broken a long existing jinx and said India will return home with a bagful of medals from the 2012 London Olympics.

''A medal which was always a distant dream for us finally came true and it was all because of these three boys. It is a golden day in Indian sports,'' Kalmadi told mediapersons here yesterday.

Kalmadi, who was here for the felicitation of the Indian Olympic heroes, said, ''Abhinav, Vijender and Sushil have broken a jinx and would now motivate other athletes to achieve success at the highest level.

Bindra gave India its first individual Gold medal at the Olympics in shooting, while Vijender inscribed his name in the Indian sporting history as the only boxer to win a medal at the Games by winning the bronze at Beijing.

Meanwhile, Sushil Kumar defied all odds to rewrite history as he gave the country an Olympic medal in wrestling after 56 years with a bronze.

The IOA president was upbeat about the progress of the Olympic sports in the country from here on and said the three sportsmen have triggered a huge enthusiasm for sports other than cricket in the country.

He assured that India will make a huge impact in the London Olympics and will finish high in the medals tally.

''We could have easily won more medals this time as many of the athletes finished close to the medal rounds but there performance did not go unnoticed.

''Doors have opened and I am sure we will fetch more medals at the 2010 London Olympics,'' he said.

The IOA president, who is also heading the hockey activities in the country after it dissolved the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) under the KPS Gill regime, was optimistic that the adhoc committee is doing some great work for the game and said hockey will be one of the disciplines in which India will get a medal in the next Olympics.

''Earlier, it was just hockey which was considered as a medal hope for India but now we have other disciplines as well where we can show our mettle.

''Unfortunately, this time our hockey team could not make it to the Olympics but I am sure next time hockey team will return home with a medal,'' he assured.

Kalmadi is of the view that the effort of the Indian athletes will also prompt corporate houses and big banners to pump in more money for sports other than cricket.

''I believe these athletes have shown that there are a lot of sports in the country other than cricket which is played by just 10 countries.

''The effort will definitely bring more sponsorship from the industry for these athletes who need the support not only morally but financially as well,'' he quipped.

UNI RAR CS RAI1030

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