Tue, Oct 25, 2016 | updated 07:19 PM IST

We want more of our daughters to represent India at Olympics: Vijay Goel

Updated: Aug 28, 2016 16:54 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug. 28 (ANI): With Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauding PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik for bringing laurels to India at the Rio Olympics, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel said that more of India's 'daughters' need to represent the nation at the upcoming Olympic Games and other international events.

Goel met shuttler Sindhu, wrestler Malik and wrestler Dipa Karmakar here in the national capital and lauded them for bringing honour to the nation at Rio.

Speaking to ANI here, Goel said that in order to motivate and produce more athletes, the Sports Ministry is coming up with several programmes across the country, in which if a person has the potential to shine in a particular sport, then they can be put in touch with the Government.

"The sports ministry will also ensure the optimum usage of all sports stadiums and that they are open to the public and the athletes, so than we can further develop the sports infrastructure. We have three major responsibilities: one is competition and through that talent hunting and then excellence in sports," he said.

Talking about the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the minister said that if collective efforts are pooled in now, then exemplary results can be expected, adding that more women should represent India and that the Ministry will try and provide more facilities to girls.

Talking about the Prime Minister giving special mention to shutler PV Sindhu's coach Pullela Gopichand in his radio address and lauding him as an ace 'teacher', Goel stated that India has so many 'Gopichand's' who have been spending years behind training their athletes.

"Dipa Karmakar told me herself that her coach began training her from the age of 6. She asserted that when she has come so ahead with her Indian coach, it means that he is at par with his foreign counterparts," he said.

Throwing light on the newly introduced 'Target Olympic Podium' scheme- he added that they ministry will continue with this scheme, where customised training and world-class facilities will be provided to Indian athletes.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra in his Mann ki Baat address that said India's daughters too have made the nation proud at the just concluded summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"We won Rio Olympics medals. Our daughters proved themselves once again, that they are not less than anyone. Sports needs motivation and the public is the best entity to do it. Dipa Karmakar stood at 4th position...it was great. It is very good to know that our nation wants us to focus on extracurricular activities," he added.

He said that the nation should be proud of the achievements of Karmakar, P. V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, but strive at the same to take this momentum of glory forward.

The Prime Minister also informed the nation about his decision to set up a task force to prepare a comprehensive action plan for the effective participation of Indian sportspersons in the Olympic Games of 2020, 2024 and 2028.

He said that the aim of the task force would be to assess the performance of Indian sportspersons at the Rio Olympics as also to recommend overall strategy for sports facilities, training, selection procedure and other related matters.

As per media reports, the task force has been asked to submit its report to the Prime Minister's Office by the end of September.

It may be recalled that India sent a 119-strong contingent to the Rio Olympics, and came back with only two medals, a silver and a bronze. P V Sindhu secured a silver medal in badminton and Sakshi Malik won the bronze in 58-kg freestyle wrestling. Dipa Karmakar finished fourth in gymnastics vaults final. (ANI)