Mittal Champions Trust targets glory at London
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Last Updated: Saturday, August 20, 2011, 13:17
  
New Delhi: With less than a year to go for the Olympics, Mittal Champions Trust (MCT) is set to spend Rs 18 crore on the training of athletes associated with it to enhance their medal prospects.

"When we started in 2005, we earmarked Rs 40 crores to be spent until the London Olympics in 2012. We reserved a major chunk of our budget to invest in the last two years. This year till December we will be spending Rs 10 crores and another 7-8 crores till August when Olympics get underway," Manisha Malhotra, CEO of the Trust, told PTI in an interview here.

"Rs 40 crore have been earmarked to provide the chosen athletes in our fold with the highest quality of training available for their sport. The ultimate aim of the Trust is to improve the performance of India at the major global sporting events with prime focus on London Olympics," she added.

The MCT had helped Indian athletes during the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, followed by the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Asian Games.

"Our aim is to give the athletes whatever they would need to succeed on the Olympic stage and win medals for the nation," said Malhotra, a former tennis player.

The MCT has had noteworthy success since its inception with its athletes winning eight Asian Games medals and an Olympic Gold in the form of shooting star Abhinav Bindra.

MCT presently endorses five Olympic sports: Archery, Wrestling, Shooting, Athletics and Boxing.

With stars such as Bindra, Ronjon Sodhi, Mangal Singh Champia, Yogeshwar Dutt, Mausam Khatri, Akhil Kumar and Jitendra Kumar already in its fold, the MCT does not intend to have any new signings before the London Olympics.

"At present, our only focus is to win medals at the Olympics. Wrestler Yogeshwar will soon be leaving for Siberia, Ronjon is leaving for Italy tomorrow, archers will visit South Korea, discus thrower Seema Antil also be visiting Los Angeles for the international exposure.

"So we are doing our best to actively monitor the progress of our athletes," she said.

"For boxers, we will soon be bringing in a physio and mental conditioning trainer. For shooters, we will have a physio. So we hope to bring the nation even higher glory than the Beijing Olympics," added Manisha, who represented India at 2000 Sydney Olympics and won a Silver medal at 2002 Asian Games.

Asked about country's top athletes getting caught in the doping menace, she said, "Indian athletes have no idea what they are taking, and work solely on trust. Even if their coaches give them some banned substance and tell them it is good for them, they will blindly take it."

"Athletes should now start questioning the coaches and trainers that what supplements are they having and whether they come under the list of banned substances or not. They shouldn't be taking anything blindly."

PTI


First Published: Saturday, August 20, 2011, 13:14


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