IOA aiming to score big on Olympic chief’s India visit

IOA and FIH chief Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra (left) and IOC chief Thomas Bach (right): IOA aiming to score big on Olympic chief’s India visit - InsideSport

Indian Olympic Association is reportedly considering to share its willingness to host the 2026 Youth Olympic Games with the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, who will be here for a two-day visit. Bach is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.

The new IOA team, with its presidents Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, Sports Minister and 2004 Athens Olympics silver medallist shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and several other Olympic medallists are scheduled to meet the IOA chief. Bach will be accompanied by the Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmad Al Sabah, who is also the Association of National Olympic Committees chief.

Even as IOA has not revealed its plans to pitch for the Youth Olympics, national news agency PTI, quoting sources, has reported that the idea is also likely to get a Government nod as the Youth Games are not as expensive as the Olympic Games. “Since the cost of hosting a Youth Olympics is to be shared with the IOC, the government is likely to agree to India hosting it in near future. So, we will express our willingness during the meeting with Bach,” PTI has quoted an IOA official as saying. A maximum of 3,500 athletes are allowed in the Youth Olympics.

“We will convey to Bach our willingness to host big events,” the official has stated.

Dr Batra, a dynamic sports administrator in the country, has always aimed high. Soon after his election to the IOA office in December last year, he had stated that India should aim to hosts mega shows like the 2030 Asian Games and 2032 Olympics.

“The IOA would certainly convey our readiness to host big-ticket multi-discipline events in India and would like to discuss how we can effectively work towards achieving IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 strategy,” Batra had said last month while announcing Bach’s visit to the country.

Argentine Capital Buenos Aires will host the 2018 Youth Olympics in October. Singapore had hosted the inaugural Youth Olympics while Chinese city of Nanjing has hosted the last edition four years’ ago.

India, having hosted the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the infrastructure in good shape, stands a chance to host the Games as the bidding process starts in 2020.

The bidding process is likely to start in the early part of 2020 and with the infrastructure of 2010 Commonwealth Games in place, New Delhi could be the likely choice of host venue.