Hoping for 6 medals from Indians, says Viswanathan Anand

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Good chance for India at Games: Anand
Mumbai, Jul 22: Chess ace Viswanathan Anand on Saturday expressed optimism that the country would have its best-ever showing in the history of Olympic Games and predicted a haul of half a dozen medals in the mega event commencing next week in London.

London Olympics Special

"I think this year we have a lot of good chances in many disciplines...boxing, archery, shooting, badminton, tennis and athletics. I would hope for five or six (medals) this time," said Anand on Saturday at a promotional event organised by NIIT.

India picked up a gold in shooting, and two bronze medals in boxing and wrestling in the previous Games at Beijing and that remains the country's highest-ever performance from a single Games.

The five-time world champion also hailed Hyderabad badminton star Saina Nehwal as the strongest contender for a medal in the London Olympics 2012 that kicks off on Jul 27.

"I think Saina is the best bet. Not only can we expect her to win but her recent form has been very good. But I have hopes in all these disciplines and (I am) keeping my fingers crossed," said the 42-year-old chess ace.

Anand, however, ruled out the possibility of the game of 64 squares being included in the Olympic Games in the near future unless the International Olympic Committee decides to include new games in the programme of the mega event.

"It will not happen in the near future and I have stopped thinking about it. I don't think it is likely," Anand said.

"At some time we got the sensation that the Olympic movement is closed to new games. They are already big. They are just closed to new games. Unless there is change in that direction, there is no point talking about it. It is not going to happen," he observed.

Anand further said that it is not something he frets about as the process will be lengthy for chess to become an Olympic sport.

"Even if it does happen there is a lag. First it gets accepted, then it becomes a demonstration sport, then you become a medal sport. So you are looking at 12 years from the moment it is accepted. So I don't lose sleep over it," he said.

PTI

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