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Hand over training of sportspersons to army: Milkha

Written by: Staff

Chandigarh, Nov 20 (UNI) 'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh today said that the training of Indian sportspersons and teams should be handed over to the army.

''Training under the army will bring out the best from the players as they would be strictly following discipline,'' the legendary runner said here hile talking to mediapersons.

Milkha Singh, who celebrated his 76th brithday today receiving visitors and attending phone calls. His wife Nirmal Milkha who had recently fractured her shoulder and ankle after a fall at the Chandgiarh Golf Club was the first to wish her husband.

Quoting few examples where Indian sportspersons had excelled at international level, Milkha said, ''I belonged to the army. Middle distance runner Sri Ram and shooter Rajayavardhan Singh Rathore all belonged to the disciplined force.'' ''The Sports Ministry should give charge of training to the army if India want to attain glory in Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and other international tournaments,'' he added.

Pointing out that India would be hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, Milkha said that the Sports Ministry should chalk out plan for training and sufficient funds should be allocated. ''It is advisable to hand over the training schedule to the army.'' Milkha felt that training by the army would definately change the face of Indian sports in four years time.

Pained to note the decline in standard of Indian athletes, Milkha recalled that in 1951, 1954 and 1958, Indians dominated the track and field events.

''Indian athletes were better than even the Japanese. China was nowhere then. The scene has dramatically changed and now the Chinese are a major force and will be coming with full force in the Doha Asian Games,'' he observed.

The change brought about by the Chinese was because of discipline in training, he felt.

Asked about Indian chances in the Doha Asian Games, Milkha said ''I can talk about athletes only. We can expect three gold medals.

Our chances in long jump (Anju), Navpreet (shot put) and relay for women are good. Still it will not be easy as China will be coming to Doha with full preparations and force. We will be lucky if we win two to three gold medals.'' UNI XC HS DH KP2015

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