Deliberately kept low profile before departure: PCI chief

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) president Rao Inderjit Singh on Thursday said that they deliberately kept a low profile before departing for the Rio Paralympic Games as they did not want to put pressure on athletes and this is the reason, they performed well,

He further reckons that extra pressure and over-exposure is the reason that the abled-body athletes did not perform good at the Olympics.

“In international competitions, our players were pressurised to perform well. They often being threatened to get the medal. But we kept a low profile before leaving for the Olympics and committee decided not to put pressure to win medals in order to get any sponsors,” Inderjit Singh said.

“The decision we took has provided good results and will make sure that in future we will maintain this.

“I feel that one reason our abled-body athletes did not perform well at the Olympics because of the hype and over-exposure they got,” he added.

The Union Minister also stressed on the importance of the sponsors in order to get good results at the international arena.

“No one can become an athlete in few days. It takes lot of hard work. In our country, our athletes trained their own as a result, their families suffered. So the only way to see more medals in the events is to provide them sponsors so that they can trained well and we are working on it,” he said.

“We want that the players get support from the central government as well as from private sponsors so that our players can perform well at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” he added.

Inderjit Singh, who was an international skeet shooter with medals in the Commonwealth Championship and SAF Games, also said that they wanted to start an individual organisation in order to find the budding talents in the country.

“There was a talent hunt programme started by the government to unearth the talent but we cannot solely depend on the government and we wanted to make our own independent organisation so that it can help the government initiative,” he said.

He expressed confidence that all efforts would be made to get the best support for para athletes in future, and give them a good career.

In the Olympics India bagged two medals with shuttler P.V. Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik picking up silver and bronze medals respectively, while in the Paralympics, India clinched four medals, including two gold. Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia and high jumper Thangavelu Mariyappan brought home the yellow metal, while shot putter Deepa Malik and high jumper Varun Bhati won silver and bronze medals respectively.

–IANS

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