New Delhi: Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju stated that preparations are already under way with respect to the country targetting a top-10 finish at the 2028 Olympics.
India have historically underwhelmed at the multi-national event, as far as medals are concerned. In the last edition of the Olympics in Rio, Indian athletes returned home with just two medals through shuttler P V Sindhu (silver) and wrestler Sakshi Malik (bronze). The Indians finished 67th on the table.
The country has never managed to breach the double-digit mark with highest being six at London Olympics in 2012 -- two silvers and four bronze medals.
Despite such numbers, Rijiju said the country will be targetting a record medal haul at the 2028 Olympics. Pinning hopes on junior athletes, he also said that the whole country will witness the progress at 2024 Olympics.
"The 2024 Games is mid-term goal but the long term is 2028. When I became sports minister I had very limited talents, potential Olympic medalists," Rijiju said during a live Instagram session with Commonwealth gold medallist paddler Manika Batra.
"In 2024, we will have a potential team which can get us maximum medals. But in 2028 I've made my mind very clear we have to be in top-10. And I'm not saying just like that. Our preparation has started."
"Junior athletes are our future champions, we have started our preparation in a solid way. We will see results in 2024 and will make rapid progress. But mark my words, India will be in top-10 in 2028."