Indians keen to know about country’s Olympic prospects


New Delhi : The inaugural success of Indian Premier League (IPL) might have increased the popularity of cricket than ever before, but amazingly a large chunk of sports buffs is keenly interested to know about the country’s medal prospects in the Beijing Olympics.

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In a survey conducted across Asia Pacific by the Visa, worldwide Olympic partner, 72 per cent of the respondents from India wanted to know the chances of the Indian athletes in the Olympics.

Visa commissioned the survey to seek the views and levels of interest in the Beijing Games of people from key countries other than the hosts China.

Of the 4,556 respondents from across the region, 74 percent rated the Olympic Games as the the most popular global sporting event, ahead of the FIFA World Cup and the ICC Cricket World Cup.

More than a third of all surveyed were focused on their own teams’ preparation and medal chances, with Korea (75 percent), India (72 percent), Hong Kong (66 percent) and Taiwan (67 percent) showing the keenest interest in their teams.

Respondents from seven out of nine Asia Pacific markets surveyed listed the Games as their top global sporting event.

“The Olympic Games are all about bringing people together and celebrating sport and competition. There is a high level of interest in the Beijing Olympic Games in particular, even among India that is known for its cricket enthusiasts,” Santanu Mukherjee, country manager for South Asia, Visa International Asia Pacific, said in a statement.