Saturday, August 13, 2016

Rio Olympic Games, India's Cup of Woe is Full

What is more disappointing? No medal in Rio or Indian sports minister getting a warning from organisers for bad behaviour? Minister was accused of throwing his weight around. Minister sahab forgot that he was on foreign shore. Minister sir forgot that outside Indian subcontinent, ministers are usually not taken that seriously. More so when your contingent fails to leave any mark on the games. 

To be fair, minister has claimed he did not get any communication from games managers. Given the tendency of flatly denying any allegation on TV by political class, it is doubtful how much credence we should pay to ministerial denial. It is possible ministerial staff behaved rudely at the the behest of minister, so that deniability can be maintained. Should a minister not be held responsible for bad behaviour of his staff? It is like father saying I do not accept any mischief my son does. It is so sad and so disappointing.

In the midst of general atmosphere of gloom, there is green shoot of hope. We must pray for Dipa Karmakar and Lalita Babar. Dipa has qualified for final of gymnastic vault in Rio. India does not have any history of competing in gymnastics, that too in Olympic Games. Dipa will perform Produnova vault. Produnova vault is a risky manoeuvre. A French gymnast has broken his ankle in Rio games trying to perform Produnova vault. Dipa will also have to compete against several Olympic champions in her group. Lalita Babar has qualified for final of 3000 meter steeplechase. Like gymnastics, track record of Indian athletes in world stage is not very bright. It is creditable that Lalita has reached finals of 3000 meter steeple chase, an event dominated by US, African and Caribbean athletes.  India should be proud if Dipa and Lalita can manage to come within first five in their respective categories. Even that scenario is highly unlikely. We shall hope and pray for miracles to happen.

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