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India raises the bar, targets 25 medals in 2020 Olympics

Saturday, 15 September 2012 - 3:48pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI

India won two silvers and four bronze medals at the London Games that concluded on August 12.

After the country's best-ever haul of six medals at the just-concluded London Olympics, the Government has set the goal much higher and the target for the 2020 Games is 25 medals.

"In the 2020 Games (at a venue yet to be decided), we have set a target of 25 medals," Sports Minister Ajay Maken said today, adding that on-field performance at the planet's greatest sports spectacle is linked to the economic progress of the country.

"The Olympic medals are co-related with the country's economic growth, if you see our Olympic history in the last 100 years and the total medals (won)," said Maken, who was here in connection with "Youth Parliament", an initative of Congress MP Milind Deora.

"If you see the last two Olympics, we have got a total of nine medals. And all these medals we have bagged are in individual events. Before this in our 100-year Olympic history, we got only two individual medals. And within four years, we have got nine medals," he explained.

He was referring to the individual medals won by Leander Paes (bronze in tennis men's singles) and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (silver in men's shooting double trap) in the Atlanta and Athens Games of 1996 and 2004 respectively.

Later, the country struck it rich with a three-medal haul in 2008 at Beijing, including the pioneering men's 10m air rifle shooting gold won by Abhinav Bindra.

"Our rank (medal standing) was 55 (in London), but if you compare it with per capita income and human development index, then our human development index is around 130 and the per capita income is also at the same level.

"Despite this we are at 55. If we had got a gold medal out of these six in the London Games, our rank would have been around 30. The progress we have made in the last four years, we need to keep that in mind and plan for future," he said.

India won two silvers and four bronze medals in the London Games that concluded on August 12.

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