Asserting that Punjab’s preparation for Tokyo Olympics is on a par with global standards, Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi on Sunday hoped that the athletes belonging to the state would win at least three to four medals.
Punjab is sending the second-largest contingent of the country.
Extending wishes to the players, Sodhi said, “India is sending 117 members, the largest-ever contingent to Olympics, out of which 14 per cent players belongs to Punjab. As we are sending the second-largest contingent after Haryana, the players from Punjab will be able to win at least three to four Olympic medals.”
The minister assured them of full government support and facilities. “We will take care of their financial and logistic issues.”
The state contingent comprises Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinderpal Singh, Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh (captain), Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, and Gurjit Kaur (hockey), Anjum Maudgill and Angad Veer Singh (shooting), Simranjit Kaur (boxing), Kamalpreet Kaur, Tajinderpal Singh Toor, and Gurpreet Singh, (athletics).
Sodhi said Punjab got the captaincy in the Olympics after 21 years and Manpreet Singh will lead the Indian hockey team as captain in Tokyo Olympics. He will also be the flag bearer of the Indian contingent.
The minister said the state and Punjabis are keen on seeing Punjab featuring among the top states in the Indian medal tally of Olympics.
The plan to make Punjab a sporting powerhouse is already at various stages of implementation with ‘Catch-them-Young’ being the guiding motto.
Many youngsters have been identified and the Sports Department has started talent scouting at the grassroots. Top coaches are being roped in to hone their talent and prepare them for the big league.