Olympic Games gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra and former All England champion Pullela Gopichand will be part of the eight-member task force constituted to prepare an action plan for the next three quadrennial games, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The panel, with Sports Authority of Gujarat director-general Sandeep Pradhan as its convenor, has been approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sports minister Vijay Goel said the task force will have to submit its report to the ministry within three months. “Making recommendations for scouting potential medal winners for 2020 Olympics will be one of the short-term plans of the task force, while chalking out a comprehensive talent identification programme for 2024 and 2028 Olympics has been listed as a long-term goal,” said the minister.
After a not-so-encouraging performance at the Rio Olympics Games, the government setup a task force to enhance India’s medals tally in future games.
The minister said that the panel will also take advice from other experts in the field of sports. “We want to broad base our system with focus on scouting talent and nurturing it,” said Goel.
The task force has to make key recommendations on spotting a core group of probables and coaching staff for 2020 Games. Improving infrastructure, coaching and scientific training methods are other key areas where the government has to be updated.
Former India hockey captain Viren Rasquinha and Dronacharya awardee in hockey, Baldev Singh of Haryana, are also members of the task force. Rajesh Kalra (journalist), Om Pathak (sports promoter) and GL Khanna (professor applied science) are the other members.