Kiren Rijiju said that his tenure as Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports can be discounted if India is not able to make it to the top-ten of 2028 Olympics.
"If India doesn't make it to the top ten in the medal tally of 2028 Olympics then don't count my this tenure as Sports Minister," Rijiju said at the inauguration of the Khelo India State excellence center in Pune.
"After the first three months of me becoming the Sports Minister, we announced that India will be in the top 10 in Los Angeles Olympics 2028. We have already started preparation and as I announced earlier, by 2028 we will be in the top ten in the Olympics," he said.
"You will see the effects of this development in 2024 in Paris Olympics, for Tokyo Olympics scheduled in 2021 I won't say we will be champions in a year. But for those who are going for Tokyo Olympics we will provide all kinds of support required," added the Sports Minister.
The ninth Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE), opened at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Mhalunge-Balewadi on Monday in the presence of four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist rifle shooter Anjali Bhagwat, will focus on three priority Olympic disciplines -- shooting, athletics, and cycling.
The KISCE will get financial support for renovation to operationalise the 25 metres electronic target shooting range besides support in providing of road and track cycles. They will also be provided financial support for sports science backup, engagement of coaches, support staff, sports equipment and more.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) said in a statement that it would provide technical expertise and assistance.
The Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex has played a dominant role in Indian sports history. Some of the major events hosted here include the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games, the under-16 Asia Basketball Championship for women in 2009, the Khelo India Youth Games 2019, and more. The stadium was also the home venue for erstwhile I-League team, Pune FC, and Indian Super League side, FC Pune City.
KISCE will ensure that athletes, proficient in certain sports can be given world-class specialised training and these centres, become the best facilities in the country to train athletes in the priority sport for which they have been earmarked.
"We are happy to extend all kinds of support for the development of all the athletes and even in future we will continue doing so," said Kiren Rijiju.
Maharashtra's Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Sunil Kedar, reaffirmed that the government was dedicated to strengthen the sports ecosystem.
(With inputs from IANS)