India hoping Delhi will be springboard for Asian Games

Sunday, 10 October 2010 21:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

NEW DELH (Reuters) - India hopes to use the Commonwealth Games as a springboard for its athletes at next month’s Asian Games in Guangzhou, an official said on Sunday.

India finished eighth on the medals table with 10 golds in the last edition of the Asian Games in Doha and hoped to do better in China, Bhubaneswar Kalita, chef de mission for the Indian contingent at the Delhi Games, said.

“The performance here has raised our hopes for the upcoming Asian Games,” Kalita, a career politician from the Indian state of Assam, said.

The 16th edition of the Asian Games will take place in Guangzhou from Nov. 12-27.

“These are the same athletes who would be in action in Guangzhou and we hope to perform well.”

India’s athletes have raised the bar in Delhi and are second with 26 gold medals, ahead of England and Canada and behind powerhouse Australia.

“We have the advantage of being the hosts. We are participating in all events and the chance to choose our disciplines have helped us too,” he added.

The Commonwealth Games must include a minimum of 10 core sports on the programme and hosts are allowed to choose up to an additional seven from a list of optional sports, with a maximum of four team sports on their programme.