Bengaluru: Not-for-profit organisation Olympic Gold Quest on Tuesday expressed hope that by 2024 it will be able to support 200 sportspersons and added that at least 25 of the 70 sportspersons they are currently supporting will qualify for next year's Rio Olympics.
"Shortly, we will achieve the target of 100 athletes and by 2024 will achieve 200 target ... We are very much on track," OGQ director Geet Sethi told reporters during a media conference here today after the OGQ Night of Champions.
"We hope to support at least 25 OGQ athletes to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
Sethi had launched OGQ along with Prakash Padukone. OGQ Board boasts of several Indian corporate captains as well. Sethi expressed confidence that Indian sportspersons would fare well in the Rio Games. On the sidelines of the event, five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand said that it is possible for India to bag 10 to 14 Olympic medals.
"More than last time is a good start. Doubling last time is possible, but you need few things to be done. 10, 12, 14 medals that will be great," he said.
Commonwealth champion boxer Sarita Devi, who is also supported by the OGQ, thanked the organisation for supporting her after she found herself in the middle of a controversy at the 2014 Asian Games.
"After the Asian Games and the surgery to my hand, I had doubts whether I could come back but then, OGQ gave me all the support that I needed at that time. God sent OGQ to me.
"I will do my best at the Rio Olympics to repay the trust and support OGQ has given me by winning a medal. They were there with me when I was down and out after the Asian Games. A big thank you to OGQ," said an emotional Sarita.
Sethi praised Sarita's grit, courage and determination to overcome hurdles.
"We came to her when she was down and out. She is a great story of a woman who overcame odds to win medals at the international level. We at the OGQ, which is a one-stop shop, only did our job of supporting her. When they win a medal, they provide us the pride," said Sethi.
Rasquina disclosed that when Sarita fought her semi-final bout in the Asian Games, she was nursing a torn ligament in her wrist that caused her enormous pain every time she punched.
"After the Games, when doctors opened her wrist, they were shocked that Sarita boxed in such pain. Every time she threw a punch, she had severe pain. Yet she fought on and won a medal. We must salute her courage," he said.
The OGQ also felicitated two young badminton players, Lakshya Sen and Rahul Bharadwaj, for their recent performances on the international circuit.