Building on ASIAD Momentum
Kudos to the Indian contingent for bagging 107 medals at the recently concluded Hangzhou Asian games in China. The highest-ever medal tally by Indian sportspersons in international multi-discipline sporting event proves that there is no dearth of talent in the country, all that is needed is to nurture these talents for India to become a sporting nation like United States of America (USA) or China. In this regard, it must be noted that although the government and institutions like Sports Authority of India (SAI) are working hard to promote Olympic sports in the country, various sporting federations are still in a primitive state thus, hampering the progress of sports in the country. For instance, India could improved its medal tally in the Asian games/ASIAD, if the wrestlers had performed according to their potential. But that was not to be as the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is in a precarious situation at present. The sub par performance of our wrestlers at the games was not unexpected.
Notwithstanding all these hurdles, it is heartening to note that Indian sports is on the right path as is evidenced by its consistent performances at the international circuit for the last few years. Only two years ago, India recorded its best-ever performance at the Olympics by winning seven medals in Tokyo including an individual Gold in Track & Field events for the first time in Olympic history. The country finished with 70 medals in the last ASIAD held in Jakarta. Moreover, to its credit, Indian has been winning more than 50 medals in the ASIAD since the Doha Asian Games in 2006. Before that, India had managed to cross the 50-medal mark in ASIAD only twice (1951 & 1962), when India was the host nation. Along with the Olympics and ASIAD, India is also performing well in the Commonwealth Games too. India had managed to win 100 medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games for the first time in a multi-nation event.
From the success of the Indian sportspersons in the international arena, one can expect India to become a sporting power soon, if sporting federations abide by guidelines issued by the government instead of flouting it. We should not be euphoric about our achievements in Hangzhou as our sportspersons are capable of achieving even more. With the Olympics knocking at our door, it should be our endeavour to build on the momentum provided by the Asian games. We must strive to add a new chapter in the country’s sporting history by winning more medals in Paris, where the competition will be much tougher. So we must hasten our preparations for the next mission in Paris. All athletes representing the country in the next Olympics should be given specialised training and adequate opportunities to compete with the best in their respective disciplines, our focus must be on sportspersons to ensure a victorious performance in 2024 and beyond.