Sports Minister unveils ambitious London Olympics programme

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New Delhi, Mar 3: Sports Minister Ajay Maken today unveiled an ambitious programme named ''Operation Excellence London 2012'' to prepare Indian athletes for next year's Olympic Games with an aim to bring more medals after historic performances in Commonwealth and Asian Games.

Announcing the launch of ''Opex London 2012'', Maken said the country expects more medals in London than earlier Olympic Games and to achieve that the ministry will implement the programme in a mission mode.

"We are expecting better results in London Olympics than earlier Games. So, the Sports Ministry and Sports Authority of India have formulated Opex London 2012 which would be implemented in a mission mode," Maken told reporters at his monthly press conference.

"The programme will be a comprehensive one and will include training, coaching and providing all the required facilities to the athletes. The athletes will be given foreign exposure, participation in international competitions and hiring of foreign coaches to get the best results in 2012 Olympics," he said.

Maken informed that the pragramme will be implemented through two operational arms -- one meant for elite medal prospects who would be given special treatment and the other for the national teams of all Olympics disciplines.

"Medal prospect (athletes) and top 10 in selected individual disciplines will be managed and funded through the National Sports Development Fund. The preparation of the national teams for all the Olympic disciplines with a focus on training camps, national and foreign coaches, equipment support and training and competition exposure abroad will be implemented by SAI," the minister said.

Maken said the goals will be achieved in a time-bound and professional manner and for this purpose two committees -- an Apex Committee and Steering Committee -- will be formed with specific mandate and he will head the first one.

The Apex Committee will approve the action plan in mission mode while the Steering Committee, to be chaired by sports secretary, will approve and sanction the training camps for specific disciplines, diet/nutrition, foreign coaches and national coaches and competition exposure abroad.

The Steering Committee will also approve specific proposal under ''OPEX London 2012'' and empanel various institutions, venues abroad where the selected athletes will be sent for training/competition exposure.

PTI

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