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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Wednesday, 24 April, 2002, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
India plans Olympic bid
Fireworks light up the Sydney Harbour Bridge at the closing ceremony for the 2000 Games
Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympic Games
India's sports minister has announced that the country will bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

Uma Bharti told a business meeting on Wednesday that she had directed the Indian Olympic Association to bid for the Games.

The Indian capital New Delhi hosted the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982 but missed out to Doha, Qatar to host the event in 2006.

Other cities which have shown interest in hosting the 2012 Oympics are Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Washington, Houston, San Francisco, Budapest, Paris and Rome.

Administrators should be blamed for India's poor record in the international arena
India's sports minister Uma Bharti

The International Olympic Committee will name the eventual winner in 2005.

Bharti told reporters that the country should be inspired by Bejiing winning the nomination for the 2008 Games.

But she admitted that India's sporting culture has been curtailed by the lack of resources available.


"We the administrators should be blamed for India's poor record in the international arena" said Bharti

"There's no shortage of talent in India but we set aside a pittance for sports. Once this attitude changes, Indian sports will take a big leap."

India has previously only won Olympic gold medals in hockey.

Its only recent medals were two bronze clinched by tennis player Leander Paes in 1996 and women's weightlifter Karnam Malleswari in 2000.

The IOA's pet project of an Afro-Asian Games, featuring the top athletes from the two continents, was cancelled twice due to security concerns in the aftermath of the US-led strikes in Afghanistan.

Richard Hamilton for BBC Sport
"India is aiming to build up its sports infrastructure"
See also:

23 Apr 02 |  Europe
Olympic security 'top priority'
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