National Games the top priority, Indian Olympics Association makes a statement
Rajeev Mehta has asked for ‘wholehearted support and cooperation in making the National Games successful’. “As far as athletes are concerned, participation in the National Games is most important for them,” wrote the IOA secretary-general in a letter.
He added: “To ensure the esteemed significance of the National Games, participation of all eligible eminent athletes who have taken part/won medals in International Games and Championships are necessary to compete in the 36th National Games also. The Sports Federations and State Olympic Associations are requested to keep this in mind when selecting the athletes for representing their sports and states.”
However, in the beginning of the year, the National Games were not even in the picture anywhere. It was only in June that the IOA decided to conduct the event, which was originally scheduled to be held in Goa, in the year 2016.
“If there is a clash between international tournaments and the national games for some of the athletes we will discuss and find the best possible solution,” Mehta told the Indian Express.
“We are trying to ensure a way through which at least some of our top-ranked shooters can take part in the National Games. With regards to the rifle/pistol team, they will have to compete in Gujarat before quickly turning their attention to the World Championships,” the official said.
Moreover, he shotgun World Championships are up to take place in Osijek, Croatia, from September 19 to October 12. Afterwards, from October 12 onwards, the rifle and pistol World Championships will begin in Cairo, Egypt.