Refocusing India’s Sports Vision - Eastern Mirror
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Refocusing India’s Sports Vision

By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 18, 2021 1:10 am

The dust might have settled in Tokyo but not as yet in India after its best tally of medals at the Olympics. The country was swept up in a wave of euphoria after winning seven medals, including one gold, two silver, and four bronze at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, surpassing its previous best of six medals in the 2012 London Games. Many smaller countries had performed better than India but there were enough reasons for 1.3 billion people to celebrate. While javellin thrower Neeraj Chopra’s gold was historic, being India’s first ever gold in track and field event, men’s hockey team brought home bronze after more than four decades. Indian women’s hockey team missed the bronze by a whisker but not before making history by booking a place in the semi-final for the first time in the Olympics. Then there was shuttler P V Sindhu who became the first Indian woman athlete to win two individual Olympic medals with a bronze in Tokyo. It’s also worth mentioning that three of the medal winners – Sindhu, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, boxer Lovlina Borgohain — were women, equalling men’s individual medal tally. No wonder the dust has refused to settle in India even days after the games concluded. 

But one interesting aspect of the Olympics for India is how the medallists and non medallists are treated after the games. The medallists were showered with cash, government jobs, and land, amongst others rewards. They deserve it for bringing laurels to the country and inspiring young talents. It is also heart-warming to see sportspersons from poor economic backgrounds being rewarded for their hard work and determination. It should inspire the youth to take up sports. On the other hand, a couple of athletes who failed to win medals at the Olympics have received brickbats. Amid celebrations and felicitations for medallists, wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sonam Malik were “temporarily suspended” by the Wrestling Federation of India over alleged indiscipline during their Tokyo Olympics campaign. While it is only right to take action for any misconduct, declaring harsh punishment without hearing from the other party in connection with alleged misconduct will only send a wrong message to aspiring sportspersons. Hasty decisions could undo the gains of India’s performance at the Olympics this year. So, the Wrestling Federation of India should address the matter with a human touch, and of course set a precedent if the athletes are found to have committed grave mistakes. The fact is that nobody competes at the world’s biggest stage to lose. Some win medals but nobody loses in a competition. When the dust settles completely, India should seriously look beyond cricket and focus on the budding sportspersons if winning more medals at the Olympics and other world events is what the country wants.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 18, 2021 1:10:20 am