Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sushil winning bronze makes this best olympics for India

1 Gold, 1 Bronze and another medal on the way makes this the best ever olympics for India. Vijender won his quartefinals bout to assure himself of at least a bronze medal in the middleweight class. This makes it three for India in the 29th edition of the Olympics and is a wonderful feeling for every Indian like myself. India won a gold in Hockey in 1980 and had to wait for 28 years to win another one and this time it is even better as we managed to win two more medals on top of that.

When the Indian Hockey team failed to qualify for the olympics, it seemed like a medal hope was lost. Even though the hockey team never performed great in the previous 6 editions before this after 1980, we always thought that they are our best hope to win a olympic medal. What we have seen in the previous years is that there is someone who always stood up to be counted. Even though not many people thought that Leander would win a medal in tennis singles or Malleswari would win a medal in weightlifting, they did the same against the odds.

This olympics has been a great one for India and I hope that this inspires more athletes for the next edition in 2012. India has always found unlikely heroes in olympics to make the country proud and this time we have three. Kudos to Sushil, Abhinav and Vijender. These three have made all the Indians proud. I hope that Vijender goes on to win gold in Boxing to make this olympics even more special for India.

Monday, August 18, 2008

In Search of a medal

Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal last week in the Beijing olympics made every Indian proud. But if we consider that this was our first such medal in 28 years makes us kind of sad. The rest of the Indian contingent have not fared that great in the games this year and it seems like we will end up with just one medal this year too. When we see that China who have a population of almost similar proportions to India leading the medals tally makes us wonder where we are going wrong.

I would have thought before the games began that India’s best chance for a Olympic medal this year would be the doubles combination of Leander and Mahesh. Them crashing out in the quarterfinals and Sania crashing out too have dashed India’s hope of a second medal. We had few others giving us some hope like Saina in badminton and Akhil in boxing but both of them crashed out before entering the medal rounds. The basic issue in Indian sports is lack of sponsership and encouragement for the athletes.

The fact that the Indian hockey team did not even qualify for the games points us to a much larger issue. It seems like the sports in India other than cricket is facing a slow death if the respective boards are not careful about it. Indian athletes have always struggled and the reason for the same is that they cannot take that as a profession as people from other countries can. They dont have proper sponsership and training facilities required for them to excel and compete at world level.

If the boards and various committees in India dont take action soon then India would become a one sport nation which it kind of already is. Getting a gold medal in Olympics is great but not knowing where the next medal would come from is not that encouraging for Indian sports. India needs heroes for the people to follow in other sports. The olympic games come and go but we dont stop wondering as to where the next medal is going to come from. The nation of 1 billion people and just one medal. Micheal Phelps of USA has taken 8 medals all by himself. As I write this article there are couple more chances for India in Boxing in the coming days to get the second medal for the country. As the nation searches for its second medal, I just hope that something is done to revive the other sports in India.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Gold for India after 28 years…

Its a proud moment for every Indian as Abhinav Bindra got the first Gold medal for India in 2008 Beijing Olympics. This is the first Gold medal for India since the Hockey team got one in 1980. India have got Bronze and Silver in the last few editions of the Olympics but getting a Gold is a great achievement.

Lets all celebrate this great occasion and hope that this inspires more medals for India in Beijing Olympics. Once again congrats to Abhinav Bindra for winning men’s 10 meters air rifle Gold. He sure has made our country proud.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Second Test - Sehwag and Harbajan keep India in the hunt

Sehwag’s double hundred and Harbhajan’s late 4 wicket burst kept India in the hunt in the second test at Galle. Srilanka finished on 215/5 still 114 runs behind India’s first innings total of 329. Earlier today Indian were bowled out for 329 after resuming on 214/4 on the second day. Sehwag scored a brilliant double hundred (His fifth) to guide India to a competetive total as the rest of the batting struggled. Only Laxman and Ghambir were able to give some sort of support to Sehwag’s lone hand for the visitors.

When Srilanka started their second innings, they lost Vandort early caught by Rahul Dravid of the bowling on Zaheer in the first over but Sangakkara and Warnapura batted with assurance to help their team to 137/1. The hosts seemed to be cruising with none of the Indian bowlers able to make any impact. After Harbhajan picked up Warnapura for 66 he was completely a different bowler and kind of ran through the middle order leaving them on 192/5 when Dilshan got out. Captain Jayawardane along with the other Jayawardane in the team formed a small unbroken partnership of 23 to lead Srilanka to 215/5 at the end of day2.

India would still be wary of the Srilankan captain as he can turn the game in the home team’s favour. Indians would also be worried with the bowling for of their captain as he was unable to make any impact in this series yet. Indians would be hoping to dismiss Srilanka within 300 and would hope to get a slight advantage in the first innings. The pitch will for sure get more difficult to bat on in the 3rd and fourth innings and both the team would want to have as much lead as possible.