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Dreadful, awful, terrible

Dreadful, awful, terrible
Highlights

Former Australian swim sensation Ian Thorpe made an interesting observation the other day, which when seen in the larger perspective reflects the state-of-affairs in Indian sports. He hit the nail where it mattered when he wondered why Indians always field old warhorses in major events. 

Former Australian swim sensation Ian Thorpe made an interesting observation the other day, which when seen in the larger perspective reflects the state-of-affairs in Indian sports. He hit the nail where it mattered when he wondered why Indians always field old warhorses in major events.

In a way, what the swimmer meant was that there was an absence of any system that taps young talents and nurtures them to international levels. This is true because when one looks into the past ten days of the ongoing Rio Olympics what becomes glaringly clear is that Indians are no patch on their global counterparts and peers.

In what is the worst showing since 1992, India is yet to figure in the medal tally, a sordid reality that should make the avowed fan smirk with disgust. It hardly matters if one has come close to laying a finger at least on the bronze because at the end of the day the showing has been woefully pathetic even as some unheralded nations have left the world speechless with their out of the blue conquests and podium finishes.

With a mere six days to go for the curtains to come down on the extravaganza, and only wrestlers and shuttlers left in the hunt, the chances of winning a medal look remote. This is a classic comedown because after the London high and with the Rio-bound contingent being the largest ever, the expectation was that India would figure prominently in the medal tally.

Alas, they suddenly appear to be laughable calculations given the abject surrender by the spineless Indians, who were anything but world class; most certainly not at consistent levels. A bigger tragedy is that the so-called title contenders came a cropper with big guns like Abhinav Bindra, Jitu Rai, Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal missing the target by a mile.

Apparently, something is terribly wrong in the manner Indian authorities have drawn up their blueprint. What Thorpe meant was that India does not boast of a professionally-run scientifically-woven system to produce champions. Of course, the athletes are also to be blamed because although the best of infrastructural support and foreign coaches have been put in place, not even a handful of athletes can be considered as sure-shot medal winners.

It will be no exaggeration to state that in most instances Indians have won because of the errors committed by the opponents and not for any spectacular showings from our reputed athletes. One wonders what would have been the fate had Dipa Karmakar not emerged as the beacon of hope with her stellar showing in gymnastics.

That she managed to reach the highest positions despite not getting any big support shows that determination and being away from media spotlight (a patented style of the Nehwals and Mirzas) will help an individual to stay focused on the day of reckoning.

It is for certain that one woman will be chuckling at India’s showing because for most of the Indian sportspersons the Rio outing has, indeed, been a carnival-like adventure!

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