Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Tuesday asserted that the Indian contingent will win a record number of medals in the upcoming Asian Games in Huangzhou, China.
The Sports Ministry has given approval to 634 athletes from 38 different sporting disciplines to participate in the quadrennial Games, which will be held in the Chinese city from September 23 to October 8.
“I am confident that as much as the team will represent the young and new India; we will ensure historic performances and return with the best medal count. I urge the country to stand behind our athletes and cheer for them,” Thakur said during the team’s send-off ceremony in the capital.
During the function, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) unveiled the official ceremonial dress and playing kit for the Indian contingent that will compete at the forthcoming Games.
“Additional Rs 675 crore has been approved by government for infrastructure building and Khelo India Games,” the minister added.
Besides Thakur, the ceremony was attended by IOA president PT Usha along with other senior officials.
The Indian contingent was represented by hockey goalkeepers PR Sreejesh (men), Savita Punia (women), shooter Manu Bhaker and 2018 Asian Games shot put gold medallist Tajinderpal Singh Toor among others.
Usha said she expects every member of the contingent to make the best effort.
“We have waited long for the 2022 Asian Games and are delighted that India is sending its largest contingent of 634 athletes. We believe that this squad has the potential to get India its best medal haul as well,” she said.
The Indian contingent clinched 70 medals, including 16 gold, in the last edition of the Asian Games in 2018.
Conceived and designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology, the ceremonial dress includes a khaki textured saree for women and khaki kurta for the male players.
The playing kit is designed by Kashmiri designer Aaquib Wani who has also designed the Indian cricket team jersey.
With 33 members, rowing will have the largest unit after athletics (65) in Hangzhou. Meanwhile, a 15-member Esports team will also be at the Asian Games where the event makes its debut.