International Olympic Committee President to meet PM

New Delhi

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach arrives here tomorrow for his one-day whirlwind visit and is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday to discus ways to take Indian sports forward amid speculation that the country might bid for 2024 Olympics.

Bach, who will be on his first visit to India after taking over as the head of IOC in 2013, will arrive here late in the evening tomorrow and will have a meeting with the Prime Minister on Monday.

The crucial meeting of Bach with the Prime Minister has been scheduled for 5pm on Monday. Before that, the IOC chief will meet the Executive Committee of the Indian Olympic Association in the morning at 10am at a city hotel.

Bach, who hails from Germany, is likely to interact with the media before flying back to Lausanne, the seat of the IOC, on Monday night.

IOA and sports ministry officials are tight-lipped on whether India will express its desire to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games during Bach’s meeting with the Prime Minister.

Boston, Hamburg and Rome are already declared bidders for 2024 Olympics.

IOC President Bach recently met French President Francois Hollande to discuss Paris’ prospects to bid for the 2024 Olympics. He has also visited several countries recently and met the Prime Ministers of Hungary and Kosovo and the Presidents of Serbia, Ukraine and Russia to discuss issues related with the Olympics Reform Agenda 2020.

He will also visit Australia on Wednesday to discus Brisbane’s possible bid for 2028 Olympics and will meet Prime Minister Tony Abbott, according to reports.

Bach was upbeat about Indian sports scaling new heights in the near future and wants the country to win more Olympic medals, according to top IOA officials.

“Obviously, Mr Bach is upbeat about Indian sports. He asked me why the second most populous country in the world was winning just a few medals in Olympic Games. He wants India to win more medals in the Olympics,” IOA President N Ramachandran has said.

“He feels that India should do better in Olympic Games and become a sporting power in the future,” Ramachandran said.

Ramachandran, however, did not divulge much on what Bach would discuss with the Prime Minister but said the meeting could give a big push to funding on Olympic sports, including the prospect of the corporate sector loosening its purse strings.

“I am not in a position to tell what Mr Bach will discuss with our Prime Minister. But such a meeting will give a big push forward for Olympic sports in India. We can ask for more funds for the athletes from the government,” he said.


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