Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], July 11 (ANI): Asserting that India's preparation for the Tokyo Olympics was at par with global standards, Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, on Sunday, expressed confidence that Punjab athletes would once again bring laurels for the country and state.
The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in Japan as Punjab.
Extending warm wishes to Olympics bound players, Rana Sodhi said, "India is sending 117 members largest ever contingent to Olympics, out of which 14 per cent players belong to Punjab. As we are sending the second-largest contingent of the state after Haryana, the players from Punjab will be able to win at least three to four Olympic medals."
The Sports Minister assured them of full government support and facilities. "We will take care of their financial and logistics", said the Sports Minister, sharing details of players going to Tokyo.
The list includes Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinderpal Singh, Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh (Hockey Captain), Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh and Gurjit Kaur (all hockey players), Anjum Maudgill and Angad Veer Singh (Shooting), Simranjit Kaur (Boxing), Kamalpreet Kaur, Tajinderpal Singh Toor and Gurpreet Singh (Athletics).
He highlighted that Punjab got the captaincy in the Olympics after 21 years and Manpreet Singh, DSP, Punjab Police will lead Indian Hockey Team as captain in Tokyo Olympics. He will also be the flag bearer of the Indian contingent.
The Cabinet Minister said that the state government and Punjabis are keen on seeing Punjab feature among the top states in the Indian medal tally of Olympics. The plan to make Punjab a sporting powerhouse is already at various stages of implementation with "Catch-them-Young" being the guiding motto.
With a bottom-up approach, Rana Sodhi highlights how focused efforts are being made to create a sporting culture in Punjab through various national programs like Khelo India, Fit India movement, besides injecting measures for grassroots level motivation.
He said that India especially Punjab does not have any shortage of human resources or of talent in the country. However, specific efforts are required to make sports as a career option with pride and respect. (ANI)