Asian Games: IOA planning 900 member contingent from listed 2370

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is planning a jumbo 900-member contingent from the provisional list of 2370 for the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia from August 18-September 2.

Asian Games: IOA planning 900 member contingent from listed 2370
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New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is planning a jumbo 900-member contingent from the provisional list of 2370 for the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia from August 18-September 2.

IOA president Narinder Batra and secretary general Rajeev Mehta are confident that a final list of 620 plus athletes and approximately 273 officials across disciplines will be allowed for the quadrennial extravaganza.

"As per provisional list, there are 1938 athletes, 399 officials (including support staff), eight from IOA, seven from Sports ministry and 18 from Sports Authority of India (SAI) in the list of 2370. We have time till June 30 to prune the list," Batra told mediapersons on Saturday.

Mehta on his part informed that it will be pruned to 900 after consultation with the ministry.

"We are expecting that the final list will be of 620 plus athletes and 273 officials," Mehta said at the sidelines of programme.

For the Incheon Games in 2014, India had sent 541 athletes and won 57 medals across 28 disciplines. 

While the ministry can veto such a big contingent, the IOA on its part has set a selection criterion for the Games.

"For individual sport, the criteria is a top-six finish and in team sport it is a top-eight finish (as per last Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea) will be eligible for selection," Batra said. 

There are four de-recognised/suspended National Sports Federations (NSFs) -- taekwondo, golf, gymnastics and archery where ad-hoc committee will select the teams and there will be a scrutiny committee, which will address any dispute in selection matters.

"Indian Golf Union (IGU) have a meeting for amendment of their constitution on June 6. The IOA will have its observer. If all goes well, then IGU can select its squad for the Asian Games," Mehta told PTI.

There was some good news for the All India Football Federation (AIFF) as India's improved performance in the international arena over the past year has improved their chances of getting the nod for the U-23 event in Indonesia.

"India's FIFA rankings have improved and they have qualified for the Asian Championship (Asian Cup). They are currently No 16 in Asia but let's hope that they make it," Mehta said.

On the matter of allocating associate membership of IOA for a particular fee (Rs 2.5 lakh), Mehta said: "There are a number of little known non-Olympic NSFs, which are affiliated with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). Now if we don't allow them, they might move court. So we need to consult IOC whether these federations can be given associate membership."

The National Games which was scheduled in Goa in December, will now be held in February.

"There is an issue of dates and the local organisers (Goa Olympic Association) have requested the event to be shifted to February 2019. Also there is an issue of space as two events -- cycling and shooting will be held in Delhi." 

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