Every year on annual sports day in school, while giving away prizes to winners of sporting events, our Head Master would say “winning or losing is not important, it is participation that counts.” It seems as a nation we have taken this motto quite seriously. Year on year we have send huge contingent of athletes and equally large number of administrators to different sporting events, namely Olympics, Asian Games, different world championship events. Given the size of our contingent, given the population of our country, we hardly win any medal.
In London Olympic games, we won a total of six medals none of which were gold. In recently concluded Asian Games at Incheon Korea, our tally included eleven gold medals. We were happy that India has figured among top ten nations in medals tally. However, compared to leaders of the pack China with more than 150 gold medals, South Korea with 75 plus gold medals and Japan with 46 plus gold medals, we were way behind. It must be remembered that other power house nations like Australia, Great Britain, United States, Germany, Russia were not even part of Asian Games. Competition in Rio Olympic games will include all nations of the globe and is expected to be very tough.
An encouraging observation from London Olympic games that was also repeated in Asian Games was that in certain sports India is becoming more consistent than others. These include Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Shooting, Tennis, Wrestling. If we plan properly for 2016 Rio Olympics, we may hope to increase our medals tally from six medals in London Olympic games to may be fifteen in Rio Olympic games. Some of these may even be gold medals. For example, we may hope to bag a gold medal in wrestling and boxing. Add into the tally a few gold medals, on a better day, from shooting and archery. However, for such result to happen, we must train our athletes rigorously, make them mentally tough so that they can win competition against toughest opponents. I am not discouraging athletes from other disciplines. May be we should still participate in as many disciplines as we want, chance of getting a medal in track and field, swimming and gymnastics will remain a dream in 2016. The gap between us and the competition is too wide.
I think green shoot of success in certain sports discipline is emerging. We must nurture them and built upon them success for other sports. May be some day we shall come out of the participant mindset and believe that we can also win in the world stage.
Tags: Archery, Asian Games, Australia, Badminton, Boxing, China, Germany, Gold Medal, Great Britain, Gymnastics, Incheon, Japan, London, Medals Tally, Olympic Games, Rio, Russia, Shooting, South Korea, Swimming, Track and Field, Tennis, United States