Mittal Champions Trust targets glory at London

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

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."


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