Expect 12 gold medals from track and field events at Asiad: Sports minister

Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal Saturday said that he expects Indian athletes to win 10-12 gold medals from the track and field events in the 17th Asian Games, where competition started Friday in the South Korean city of Incheon.

Expect 12 gold medals from track and field events at Asiad: Sports minister

New Delhi: Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal Saturday said that he expects Indian athletes to win 10-12 gold medals from the track and field events in the 17th Asian Games, where competition started Friday in the South Korean city of Incheon.

"Athletics has brought glory to India and produced many stalwarts ever since the Asian Games began in 1951. I'm sure the Indian Athletics Team will fight for every medals in Incheon. In the previous Asian Games in 2010 you won a total of 12 medals. I hope this time you win at least 12 gold medals," said Sonowal during a send-off for the last batch of the track and field contingent.

Sonowal, who is an avid sportsman himself and has a penchant for cricket, football and badminton, assured the athletes that his ministry will extend every possible support to assist them for winning medals at international competitions.

“The ministry of sports will do everything under its control to take Indian athletics to great heights. I take this opportunity to assure all the athletes that the Government of India will extend every support to its sportspersons to win medals in future competitions,” he said.

Sonowal lauded the AFI for doing a good job.

“I congratulate the AFI for the good job and I hope they will further increase their efficiency to ensure that the athletes achieve bigger laurels for the country in the future,” he said.

The 49 of the 56-member athletics contingent, led by chief coach and triple Asian Games gold medalist Bahadur Singh will for Incheon in the wee hours of Saturday. The long distance runners and the walkers have already reached Incheon.