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|Kalmadi asks sponsors to promote other sports|
Saturday, February 7 2004 18:29 Hrs (IST)
Kalmadi told reporters in Mumbai that the Standard Chartered Mumbai International Marathon, to be run in Mumbai on February 15, was one such event where the sponsors had pumped in USD 210,000 to make it the richest marathon in Asia.
"Even in Australia, where cricket is followed keenly, other sports like rugby, tennis, hockey and football get equal recognition but unfortunately in our country it is cricket which gets all the backing," he said.
"I want to see that 30 corporate houses back 30 different sports so every sport gets proper recognition and this was one of reasons why I was determined to get the first Afro-Asian Games to India," Kalmadi said.
"I feel this international marathon will be some sort of dress rehersal for us to much bigger events to come in future like the World Half Marathon which we have already decided to host at Delhi (for the first time in Asia) on October 3 ".
"Apart from the World Half Marathon we have also bid for the World Athletic Championship in 2009 and the 2016 Olympics which we will get as I have made sure either Asia or Africa bid for big events and not become competitors for hosting events," he added.
"Somewhere during 2007, the Olympic evaluation team will arrive to see the infrastructure for both World meet and the Olympics and I am sure that we have enough infrastructure at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Delhi and small infrastructures in other cities," Kalmadi said.