India athletes will get sports-specific help from support staff: IOA chief Usha

NEW DELHI, May 10: IOA president PT Usha on Friday assured Olympic-bound athletes of best possible assistance in Paris, saying sports-specific support staff would be housed closer to the Games Village to provide help without wasting time.

Usha, who returned to India after finalising the arrangements of Indian athletes and support staff in Paris, said the IOA had also ensured that shooters and golfers stay closer to their respective event venues.

The Chateauroux Shooting Centre is about two hours outside Paris, while the Le Golf National is an hour’s drive from the Olympic hub.

“We have been able to secure accommodation for a number of sports-specific support staff a short distance away from the Athletes’ Village. We want to ensure no athletes are devoid of their support system and hence we have booked apartments in the vicinity,” said Usha in a statement.

“We have ensured that our shooters and golfers stay close to their respective venues,” she added.

Elaborating on the need for a robust support system, Usha said Indian athletes have evolved tremendously over the years and they needed a good support system for achieving peak performance.

“As an athlete and coach myself, I have seen the evolution of the support system for our athletes. They have become very professional in the approach to training and competition. I believe it is our duly to ensure that (they) have similar, if not better, support during the Olympic Games. It is for this reason that we will have apartments for the support staff,” she said.

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