Saturday, August 20, 2022

Harnessing Sporting Potential of NE

By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 02, 2022 10:54 pm

India’s performance at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham has been so far so good despite the exclusion of shooting, a discipline the country had excelled in the past. India’s medal tally in the competition thus far is 10 – four gold, three silver and three bronze – and it is the weightlifters who have taken the weight off the country’s shoulders by bringing home seven of the medals. The women’s fours lawn bowls team won the other gold, while the other two medals were added by the judokas. Sanket Mahadev Sargar opened India’s account at the 2022 Commonwealth Games with a silver medal in men’s 55 kg weightlifting event before Olympics silver medalist Chanu Saikhom Mirabai won the country’s first gold at the games in the women’s 49 kg weightlifting category. There was no stopping the Indian weightlifters after that, as Jeremy Lalrinnunga (men’s 67 kg category) and Achinta Sheuli (men’s 73 kg category) went on to win a gold a piece, while Bindyarani Devi won silver in women’s 55 kg event, and bronze medal each by Gururaja Poojary (men’s 61 kg category) and Harjinder Kaur (women’s 71 kg category). Having ensured an excellent start, the Indian contingent is expected to add more medals to the tally as the event progresses.

Amid a good show at the ongoing games, two young lads — Jeremy Lalrinnunga from Mizoram and Achinta Sheuli from West Bengal — have caught the attention of sports enthusiasts and common people alike. The youngster from Aizawl, aged 19, defied an injury to win the medal, while Sheuli, aged 20, had expressed disappointment for not breaking his personal best despite his winning performance. It goes on to show that they have the potential to lift heavier weights with more training. All eyes will be on them and other contingents at the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023 and Paris Olympics 2024. With age on their side, they will be expected to bring many more laurels to the country in the years to come. However, to beat the best at the highest level like the Olympics, they need to sweat more and lift heavier weights as their performances are still way below the world record. To scale greater heights, they will need support from the central and state governments. With four out of nine individual medal winners at Birmingham, including Shushila Devi who won silver in women’s 48 kg category judo besides the three medal-winning weightlifters, coming from the Northeast, the Centre should focus on tapping the talents in the region and support them as most athletes are from economically poor families. The region has, in the recent past, proven through its contribution in various sporting disciplines, be it football, hockey, archery, boxing or weightlifting that it is turning out to be the country’s sports powerhouse. With a little focus and a little help, the region has the potential to bring laurels to India by beating the best at the highest level.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 02, 2022 10:54:39 pm