New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) The sports ministry on Monday appointed National Observers for 12 Olympic disciplines for preparation and implementation of the long-term development plan. Among the key appointments were double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar for wrestling, Anju Bobby George and P.T. Usha for athletics, Jagbir Singh for hockey and Somdev Devvarman for tennis.

The National Observers would be playing a key role in implementation of action plans for Mission Olympics 2020, 2024 and 2028, according to a release.

Multiple national champion and Olympian Aparna Popat has been assigned to oversee badminton affairs, while 2008 Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra has been appointed for shooting.

Olympic 2012 bronze medallist M.C. Mary Kom and 2008 Olympic quarter-finalist Akhil Kumar have been asked to look into the affairs of boxing.

Olympic 2000 bronze medallist Karnam Malleshwari has been roped in for weightlifting, while former captain I.M. Vijayan will be in charge of football, a discipline in which India has been completely out of the world standard.

Sanjeev Kumar Singh has been appointed for archery, while Kamlesh Mehta has been asked to report on table tennis. Khajan Singh will be in charge of swimming.

“The National Observers will assist the Government, Sports Authority of India, and National Sports Federations (NSFs) concerned including Indian Olympic Association in the preparation and implementation of the long term development plan with respect to high priority and priority sports covering all aspects including selection policy, quality specifications for National Camps, long term athlete development plan, coaching development, development of technical officials and monitoring & evaluation of athlete performance,” a statement from the ministry read.

“Apart from providing inputs for their respective disciplines, the National Observers would also to be consulted as a group on cross-cutting issues impacting sports development in the country.”

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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