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Gail India steps in to prepare sprinters for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The company has also roped in athlete Milkha Singh as principal mentor of the project and has already shortlisted about 50 teenagers.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 25, 2014, 12.46 PM IST
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The company has also roped in athlete Milkha Singh as principal mentor of the project and has already shortlisted about 50 teenagers.
The company has also roped in athlete Milkha Singh as principal mentor of the project and has already shortlisted about 50 teenagers.
NEW DELHI: State-run Gail India is on a talent hunt of a different kind. It is not looking for engineers or management graduates to run the country’s biggest gas utility, but it is searching for 12-14 year olds who can win medals for the country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In the last three months, Gail’s headhunters have scanned over 5,000 children in 19 cities including Guwahati, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Kochi.

The company has also roped in athlete Milkha Singh as principal mentor of the project and has already shortlisted about 50 teenagers after holding competitions in different cities.

In the final, which is expected before the Republic Day, three boys and three girls will be selected, a company spokesman said. “Children will get full scholarships and free training by the company, which will also provide them education up to post-graduation level.

They would also receive specialised training from renowned national and international sports trainers,” he said. The purpose of ‘GAIL-the Fastest Indian’ is to identify and develop Olympic-level sprinters, he said.

“The final round of screening was earlier planned for December 14 in Bengaluru, but children wanted some more time for practice after their term examinations. That is why we have decided to hold the event in Delhi in the middle of the next month,” he added. The company aims to prepare best talents for 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters races.

Gail is not alone in its quest for talent. IFIM Business School is its academic partner, which is providing scholarships, and Anglian Medal Hunt is the technical partner.

The company’s resolve is to contribute in the area of sports where performance of India is not in line with China, Russia, Japan and European countries. The NDA government is making efforts to train sportspersons for winning medals in the Rio Olympic Games 2016 and the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The sports ministry has already set up an elite athlete identification committee with members such as cricketer Rahul Dravid, shooter Abhinav Bindra and tennis ace Manisha Malhotra, who would evaluate and select medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic games.

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