How Indians can secure more medals in Olympics and Paralympics

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Infrastructure is a major contributor to the success of sporting nations, says Indian table tennis player Sharath Kamal. “Once there is a stadium environment, the chances of finding talent become higher. If kids have access to the stadium and train under international conditions, the ability to find talent and nurture it becomes secondary,” he added, speaking at the Sportstar South Sports Conclave on how India can bridge the Olympic/Paralympic divide.

Former Indian tennis player Ramesh Krishnan stressed the need for accessibility. “Accessibility to training grounds is a major issue. Even inside the city, access to open spaces is difficult, which is necessary to maintain physical fitness. “India, if you want to go to Delhi or Mumbai, the distance is long, it’s almost a continent in itself. For a child to do, travel and competition are not very accessible,” said he declared.

Speaking on the lack of Olympic medals in tennis, he said: “We came close to winning medals at the Athens Olympics in doubles but not in singles. That’s because we didn’t have enough depth. While we used to dominate in the sport years ago, other countries, including Taiwan, have started to improve at a much faster rate.”

Table tennis player G Sathiyan explained how more Olympic medals can be guaranteed through the participation of more athletes. “Believing in what you do defines a sportsman. Right now, India is seen as a threat to most of the top countries. For a journey to an Olympic medal, we need a lot more players coming in group. We have improved a lot in the Asian Games. It’s not just about the medal, but about starting to compete with the best players,” he said.

Paralympic champion Mariyappan Thangavelu spoke about the pressing issues that need to be addressed in Indian sports. “In para-athletics, training only takes place five or ten days before competition. If training starts at least one or two years before, more wins can be guaranteed,” he said.

Published on

June 29, 2022


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