Indian contingent landed in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan looking to better their previous seventh-placed finish at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in 2009.
Accompanying the 200 strong contingent was current Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President N Ramachandran, who is all set to discuss a revolutionary first for the country at Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly on September 20.
According to Sportskeeda, sources close to IOA confirmed that India will be officially bidding to host the Asian Beach Games in 2020. It is also being said that the confirmation of the host is likely to be taken this week as well. “The bid was officially given the nod by the Union Government last week, we are likely to make Goa the central venue for this particular event. It will be a massive achievement if OCA decides to give India the bid as it will be a precursor to bigger events. In the past five editions, India has shown that they are quite competitive at this level.”
The previous edition was held in Danang, Vietnam and includes events such as 3 x 3 Basketball, where India has medalled before. India stands 10th in the overall medal tally list, with 12 gold, five silvers and 29 bronze medals. Speaking on the development, Ramachandran said, “We have to evaluate our current feasibility plan for the tournament, but we are confident of hosting a Games, which will introduce a new facet to our sporting ecosystem. Almost 2,200 athletes from across Asia participate in this tournament. I have spoken to the OCA President regarding our interests, and he has acknowledged our aggressiveness with regards to the bid. I cannot confirm about the government permission, you will come to know in two days’ time.”
Just prior to the opening ceremony, Ramachandran had a detailed meeting with OCA President Ahmed Al Fahad, but he refused to divulge any details regarding it. But, the 62-year old did confirm that talks regarding the bid have been positive.
However, according to insidethegames, there is nothing concrete from India as things stand and that a decision on the host of the event in three years’ time is not expected to be made at the General Assembly.
Prior to yesterday’s Opening Ceremony for Ashgabat 2017, Ramachandran said he had held “positive” talks with OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah regarding a bid.
Asian Games first took place in Bali in Indonesia in 2008 before going to Oman’s capital Muscat in 2010, Chinese city Haiyang in 2012 and Phuket in Thailand in 2014.
India’s capital New Delhi had been mooted as an Asian Games host in 2019 following the withdrawal of initial hosts Hanoi.
But this did not ultimately materialise as Jakarta in Indonesia was instead chosen for an event which reverted back to its initial year of 2018.
Hangzhou in China has already been named host of the 2022 Games, while Aichi and Nagoya in Japan will be the location for the 2026 edition.
New Delhi hosted the inaugural Asian Games in 1951 as well as the 1982 edition.
But the city is still in the process of restoring its reputation after a 2010 Commonwealth Games dogged by poor facilities and corruption scandals.
Meanwhile, India opened their account Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) yesterday with a Gold,placed currently on 11th position, India willlook to move ahead as the games progress.