Ending days of suspense over the Asian Games contingent, the government on Tuesday cleared a 679-member squad that will represent India in the 17th edition of the event to be held in Incheon, South Korea, from September 19 to October 4.
Minister of state (independent charge) for skill development, entrepreneurship and youth affairs and sports Sarbananda Sonowal took the decision in consultation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The total number of 516 athletes and 163 coaches and support staff are against the original list of 942 participants including 662 athletes and 280 officials sent by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) had earlier said that it was in favour of strict application of the criteria that in individual events an athlete should be ranked in the top six while it should be a top eight position in team sports.
Football, table tennis, handball, basketball and sepaktakraw, which were facing the axe from the Asian Games if this criteria was applied, have all been included as the Olympic Council of Asia had warned India of heavy penalty if it withdraws from these sports.
India will take part in 28 disciplines as compared to the 35 in the last edition.
In Asiad 2010 in Guangzhou, China, we had sent a contingent of 609 athletes plus 324 officials.
It has also been decided that "No Cost to Government" shall not be a consideration for finalising the national contingent.
The list was sent by the IOA to the ministry on August 21. As per the ministry's guidelines, the list was required to be submitted at least 90 days in advance.
The exercise was undertaken to ensure that the deserving athletes, coaches and supporting personnel are participating in the games.
Participating disciplines: 1)Aquatics (Swimming), 2)Archery,3)Athletics, 4)Badminton, 5)Basketball, 6)Boxing, 7)Canoeing and Kayaking, 8)Cycling, 9)Equestrian, 10)Football, 11)Golf, 12)Gymnastics, 13)Handball, 14)Hockey, 15)Judo, 16)Kabaddi, 17)Rowing, 18)Sepak Takraw, 19)Shooting, 20)Squash, 21)Taekwondo 22)Table Tennis, 23)Tennis, 24)Volleyball, 25)Wrestling, 26)Wushu, 27)Weightlifting, 28)Yachting