India to send largest ever contingent for Asian Games

New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association on Saturday said that as many as 609 athletes, including 249 women, will represent the country in 35 different disciplines in the 16th Asian Games to be held in Guangzhou, China, from November 12 to 28.

It will be India`s largest ever contingent to take part in the Games.

"We are delighted with the progress made by Indians in a number of Olympic sport in the past few years and are confident that our athletes will do well in the Asian Games as well to sustain the national sports fans` interest," said IOA president Suresh Kalmadi.

"Our contingent will draw confidence from India`s wonderful showing in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games where our athletes won a record 101 medals including 38 gold.They are aware of the different challenges presented in the Asian Games and are geared up to deliver their best efforts," he said.

The Indian contingent will include 127 coaches, 44 managers, eight doctors, seven physiotherapists, six masseurs, nine technical officials, 12 contingent officials, six government observers (athletics, cycling, kabaddi, rowing, shooting and wrestling), five nominees of the Sports Authority of India and 10 other officials.

In the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, India sent 432 athletes to compete in 31 disciplines and finished with a total of 53 medals including 10 gold, 17 silver and 26 bronze.