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Olympic Boxer Vijender Singh slams Centre for slashing down Khelo India budget.

Olympic Boxer Vijender Singh slams Centre for slashing down Khelo India budget.

New Delhi: As the nation is busy celebrating the country's historic Olympic medal haul, Indian Boxer Vijender Singhflags serious questions at the authorities regarding India's performance in sports. The professional boxer slammed the central government for slashing down Khelo India budget.

"Sports has improved no doubt but there is a lot of work to be done. 'Soch badloge' to sports 'badloge' (if you change your approach, you'll be able to change the way we perform in sports). There was a time when athletes used to think that participating in the Olympics is enough, but that perception is changing. Athletes believe that not only participating, winning a medal is more important." he said to IANS.

Vijender went on to shower praise on gold medal-winning javelin throw star Neeraj Chopra, adding that this is the approach our athletes should have. "I liked his attitude towards the sport," Vijender said. "He was so confident and calm. That is exactly the approach which is needed. Our athletes have that potential, but they need to focus."

The Olympic boxer came down harshly at the Modi government for cutting the sport budget in an Olympic year.

"The government slashed the Khelo India budget before the Olympics. This was something strange. There is a need for physios, psychologists, medical teams, dieticians, masseurs and others" he said.

"Someone will say that everything is there, but the ground reality is so different. Only the cream gets these benefits, but not at the state or district level. Athletes are still struggling for their basic needs there. Our athletes were, are and will always be good, but how real are the facilities on offer? This must be probed," he added.

"On the one hand you talk about sports promotions and on the other, you cut the Khelo India budget. What is this? Khelo India is a good platform for athletes, but it needs to be run properly," the Olympian said.

Vijender also came out in support of the struggling wrestler Vinesh Phogat, who got suspended from the Wrestling Federation of India.

"WFI says Vinesh wore a Nike jersey. We must understand that Nike was her sponsor and that is the only place where we athletes get a chance to display our sponsors.

"Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics … other than that we do not have any place to display our brands. If we won't display the brand, then the sponsors will go. If brands don't come, how will you promote sports?" Vijender added.

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TAGS:Vijender Singh Khelo India budget 
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