New Delhi: Shooting and badminton are considered India's best medal prospects in 2016 Olympics and ace shooter Gagan Narang and chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand on Wednesday hoped that the country would field their biggest contingent in the two disciplines in Rio Games.
Narang, a bronze medallist in 2012 London Olympics, said he expects a good mix of young and experienced shooters from India in Rio Games.
"There are plenty of new talent coming up in Indian shooting and I hope a mix of youth and experienced shooters will be representing India in Rio Olympics," Narang said on the sidelines of a promotional event here.
"I hope India to get 5-6 more quota places. I expect a stronger shooting contingent than last Olympics," he said.
Gopichand, who is credited to have produced many champion shuttler such as Olympic medallist Sania Nehwal, too hoped a stronger badminton contingent in Rio de Janeiro.
"Badminton in the last few years have done very well. It has shown a lot of promise. Hopefully, we will have the biggest contingent in Rio," he said.
"One-fourth of the qualification is still left from now till April end. So there is lot of time and lot of things can happen. So I don't want to speculate (whether two Indian male shuttlers in Kidambi Srikkanth and Parupalli Kashyap will qualify for Rio). But I hope we have the strongest squad."
Gopichand said Indian shuttlers preparation for the Rio Games was going on the right track.
"There are a lot of events leading upto the Olympics like India Open Grand Prix, Super Series and All England Championships. So we will know where we stand after these important events," he said.
Meanwhile, tennis Sania Mirza, who was also present during the event, refused to divulge her Olympic plans.
Asked whether she intends to change her mixed doubles partner in the new season keeping in minds the Olympics, she replied: "I just know in 5 days I am leaving for the Australian Open. We tennis players don't have that leverage to prepare for 7-8 months ahead of the Olympics as we are also required to play Grand Slams.
"But I am sure the best team would be picked for the Olympics and the decision will be made closer to the Games," she said.
Narang, Sania and Gopichand were here at the launch of Supertech Limited's sports-centric development, Sports Village in Knowledge Park, Greater Noida (West).
Supertech has partnered with sports stars to open up academies of different sports in the project.
While the tennis academy will be monitored by Sania Mirza, cricket academy will be under the guidance of Shikhar Dhawan, golf academy under Jyoti Randhawa, badminton academy under Gopichand and shooting academy under Narang....