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Proud Army Chief commends Asian Games success

2023 Oct 11, 14:14, New Delhi [India]
Image: ANI

The Indian Army organised a felicitation ceremony on Wednesday to honour personnel, who won medals for the country in the recently-concluded Asian Games in China's Hangzhou.

The felicitation event was organised at the Manekshaw Centre in the national capital.

Army Chief, General Manoj Pande, honoured the personnel for their remarkable performances in the 19th Asian Games.

Expressing "profound pride" at the performance of sportspersons from the army, General Pande said, "It was good to see Indian sportspersons also performing remarkably in sporting events such as rowing and sailing. They played for the flag and brought us medals. We are incredibly proud of our sportspersons."

He said their discipline, perseverance, and dedication symbolise the core values of the Indian Army.

Also honoured at the felicitation programme, World Javelin champion Neeraj Chopra, who won his second Asian Games gold at Hangzhou and holds the rank of a Subedar in the Army, said he feels proud to have represented the military and country in the multi-sports event.

"It feels good to be catching up with each other after returning home with our best-ever medal haul from the Hangzhou Games. It was a privilege to meet the Army chief, who is always at the forefront when it comes to supporting and encouraging athletes. We are proud to be representing the Army, regardless of whether we are in combat or sports. It feels us with pride to represent India and the army at such sporting events.

The Indian contingent accomplished its target of 'Iss Baar, 100 Paar' with a haul of 107 medals at the Asian Games -- 28 Gold, 38 Silver and 41 Bronze. Of these, the athletes from the army accounted for 20 medals, comprising 3 Gold, 7 Silver, and 10 Bronze.

Apart from Neeraj, Avinash Sable, representing the army in the 3000m steeplechase, and Arjun Deshwal in the men's kabaddi team event secured gold medals for the country.

While India recorded its best-ever medal tally at the 2023 Asian Games, the army contingent also bettered its haul of 13 medals in the 2019 Jakarta Asian Games.

The Indian Army established its own Mission Olympic Wing (MOW) in 2001, marking a significant stride in scouting and nurturing sporting talent from within its ranks.

As many as 10 foreign coaches have been employed by the Army since 2021. Their expertise, combined with 16 decorated Indian coaches, who have themselves been champions in major events like the Asian Games, Olympics, and Commonwealth Games, shaped the army's sportspersons into formidable contenders on the international stage.

The army also hired high-performance psychological conditioners and physiotherapists to enable faster recovery of athletes during major events. A Sports Science Laboratory has also been set up under the MOW and Centres of Excellence, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, have come up at major military stations.

One of the standout performances came from the 18-member Rowing team, which bagged an impressive five medals. The establishment of the Rowing Node at the College of Military Engineering, Pune, served as a catalyst for such spectacular achievements, honing and refining the skills of many Rowing Champions.

Athletes from the Army Sports Institute, which houses the National Centre of Excellence for Boxing, Wrestling and Athletics, performed admirably at Hangzhou, contributing ten medals to the overall tally.

Over the last year or so, the Indian Army took 7 promising women sportspersons under its wing. A Girl's Sports Company has been established at the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) and Army Sports Institute (ASI).

The women sportspersons are trained in the disciplines of boxing, wrestling, shooting and athletics. The army is also promoting Para Sports in collaboration with PCI and MSJE. 


Asian Games Indian Army avinash sable Neeraj Chopra Arjun Deshwal General Manoj Pande
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