Monday, August 11, 2008

India's first individual Olympic Gold

Is it really a moment of pride?

The first individual gold in the Indian Olympics history, in a country of one billion plus people!
Abhinav Bindra became India's first individual Olympic gold medallist when he claimed the men's 10m air rifle shooting title on Monday. Whole nation went on frenzy as this news broke out today- of course not of cricket like!

"I sincerely hope my medal changes the face of India's Olympic sports," Bindra expressed his opinion. Indians know how to exploit the opportunity and all sports associations and ministries now come into the open to share the limelight with Bindra. The first salvo already fired from BCCI with 25 lakhs INR. Had BCCI or government focused earlier to nurture the talents we would have been celebrating more Olympic moments. Perhaps, a policy on the line of five-year plan should be there with active private partnership.

Gagan Narang who missed by a whisper had tough time managing his sports in view of the cost associated with the Shooting. Thanks to some private organisations that helped him to maintain his cool. Monica Devi story again has tried to stir the sports consciousness of this country- it's to be seen if any Olympic postmortem for better environment would be organised.

Hockey-the national sports of India failed to qualify to Beijing Olympics. Winners of eight field hockey gold medals India had never won an individual Olympic title before Bindra's feat. The previous best was trap shooter Rajyavardhan Rathore's silver at Athens, while there were bronze medals for wrestler Khasaba Jadhav (1952), tennis star Leander Paes (1996) and woman weightlifter Karnam Malleswari (2000). Bindra, a Khel Ratna awardee, had earlier won the gold medal in 2002 Commonwealth Games in the pairs event and silver in the individual event.

The old crumbling cookies are at the control panel- we saw Gill, Jyoti kumaran, recently Naidu of Sports Authority of India and many more of their tribes… When will this structure shake-up?

A cool contingent is already there in Beijing in the care of evenly matched army of government officials to support and console the players. I leave you with the thoughts expressed by the Economic Times: "So does it matter if PM Manmohan Singh was not invited for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics? India’s PM will be present in Beijing in October to attend the 7th ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Summit of 45 leaders to discuss economic issues from the perspective of sustainable development. In the meantime, Manmohan can keep savouring his 22 July trust-vote triumph in the Lok Sabha by listening to the theme song of the just-released Akshay-Kumar movie, titled Singh is King!"

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