“Tougher To Satisfy Indian Athletes’ Needs”: IOA Acting President

File photo of Lovlina Borgohain.© AFP

The needs of Indian athletes during multi-sporting events are a tad more hard to satisfy than others, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) acting president Anil Khanna said on Thursday, referring to the controversy surrounding Lovlina Borgohain’s coach Sandhya Gurung. After arriving in the city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Borgohain had alleged that her preparations were being hampered because of “the continuous harassment” her coaches were facing from the authorities, including Gurung. She wanted Gurung to be included in the CWG contingent and the IOA in a last-minute move accommodated her request.

The designated team doctor of the boxing contingent, Karanjeet Singh, had to be shifted outside the Games Village for Gurung to enter.

“It is tougher to satisfy Indian athletes’ needs a little more than others as they react a bit too early. A sense of cooperation between the athletes is not always there,” Khanna, who is in Birmingham, told PTI.

“Lovlina is an Olympic medallist, we had to accommodate her request. The boxing team doctor is also experienced. He is staying outside the village like many of our officials and coach.

“The transport is being arranged, there is no issue at all,” Khanna stressed.

Shooting’s absence is likely to make a big dent on India’s medals tally at the Games. India won 66 medals four years ago in Gold Coast, including 16 in shooting, for a third place finish.

“Our estimate is around 60-65 medals. We will have to see how many we get. The impact of shooting not being there will be felt for sure,” he said.

He also confirmed that 164 (89+55+20) Indian athletes and officials from three different villages will be part of the opening ceremony on Thursday evening.

On shooting and wrestling not being part of the 2026 Games programme, he added, “For 2026, shooting and wrestling are not included as of now, but we have had discussions with CGF president Dame Louise Martin.

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“The respective international federations of shooting and wrestling have time till August 19 to submit expression of interest to CGF.

“By September 30 they will need to make a presentation,” he said.

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