According to Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, India has ambitious plans to host the Olympics in the future, aiming to establish itself as a prominent sporting superpower. Thakur emphasised that hosting high-quality tournaments in various disciplines will contribute to achieving this goal. The statement came in response to a question about India's potential interest in hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games, after Australia's Victoria state withdrew due to escalating costs. Thakur refrained from confirming specific plans for the 2026 CWG but asserted that India is diligently working towards the possibility of hosting the Olympics at the right time.
Country wants to host major events
Thakur expressed confidence in India's sporting development, noting that athletes are performing exceptionally well, and sports federations have become more accountable and professional. He cited factors such as transparency and accountability as crucial elements that contribute to India's progress in the sporting arena.
These statements were made during the inauguration ceremony of the Asian Junior and Youth Weightlifting Championships, which India is hosting for the first time. The prestigious event is taking place at the Gautam Buddha University from July 28 to August 5, with participation from 220 athletes representing 18 countries across Asia.
"India has got the opportunity to host the 2023 Youth and Junior Weightlifting Asian Championship. It's a big thing that we are hosting it for the first time," Thakur said.
"The government wants India to host good, big tournaments in different sports. To be a sporting superpower, you have to host tournaments, provide facilities and take the games forward." The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) had successfully organised the Commonwealth Senior, Junior and Youth Championship less than two weeks back from July 12 to 16 at the same venue here.
"Hosting tournaments like this Asian Championships and the Commonwealth Championships will increase India's standing and in future we will soon host the World Championships as well," Thakur said.
Continegent for Asian Game to be announced soon
The minister mentioned that the upcoming Asian Games in China will have its final contingent list announced shortly.
"The final list is getting ready, the teams are in preparatory mode. There was a big question in front of us whether the football teams should go or not. The teams were not falling in the top eight but I made the decision that they will participate." Thakur also informed that 1000 new Khelo India centres will be ready by the end of the year.
"By the end of this year we will be in a positing to inaugurate and dedicate 1000 Khelo India centres to the country."