Rio Olympics 2016

While India is gripped with some really concerning issues like the Maharashtra water crisis, the president’s rule in Uttarakhand, another big concern is happily ignored in that mayhem. While MSM is indulged in the usual BJP vs. Congress blame game, allow me, my friends to put forward the concern that should be on our minds as patriotic, concerned Indians: our performance as a nation at the Rio Olympics, 2016. While most would laugh it off, given the recent standoff on Salman Khan being elected as the goodwill ambassador to the same, let me put forward some arenas, where India really stands a chance to script history this time. Can we bring a rich haul this time? Can we bring more than one gold medal? The answer is a probable, but resounding YES! YES, WE CAN!

Yes we can script history at the Rio Olympics, 2016, for now we have a contingent that is roaring to go with all guns blazing, unlike previous times. Despite having the world’s second largest population, India stands really far behind in the total number of Olympic medals it has secured, which is twenty six (9 golds,6 silvers & bronze medals), only 4 more than the personal collection of the greatest swimmer in the world, Michael Phelps!
If I’m not wrong, according to one study, India has the least per capita success in Olympics, which is one medal per 38.3 crore people! The only sport where we managed to turn the world’s eyes quite a many times, was the field of hockey, where we’re the most successful team till date, with 8 gold’s, 1 silver & 2 bronze medals. However, the last medal we won in hockey was the last medal gold medal in Moscow, some 36 years ago. Yes, 36 years ago. Since then, we have been shining, but only in individual disciplines. We can blame it on the same old issues of corruption and vested interests. But the real reasons run far deeper than that. However, not all hope is lost. If we consider the recent interest of the government in sports, we can claim of a rich haul this time in Rio. Unlike the previous governments, this time, our honorable PM, Shri Narendra Modi, is particularly interested in the performance of the sportspersons, and has also brought radical changes to boost India’s chances ahead of the big day. For a welcome surprise, world championship medalist long jumper, Anju Bobby George, has been appointed as the chairperson of the NDA flagship program, Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), and esteemed Olympians such as Beijing gold medalist Abinav Bindra boxer MC Mary Kom, and ex Badminton stalwart Pullela Gopichand being the core members of the committee. For the first time, there are no politicians with vested interests in charge of this scheme.
Under this scheme, every medal probable athlete shall be allotted financial assistance for their training at reputed world class institutes. Till now, more than 36 athletes of various disciplines have agreed to this program, and 20 others are in the fray.
Here are the some of the sports India is contesting, where India has a solid chance of making it big at the Rio Olympics, 2016
India’s chances at the Rio Olympics 2016:

Shooting –
The sport which gave India its first individual gold now stands a strong and solid chance of bringing more than two medals that received in London. For the first time, we have a serious contender in pistol shooting, the small but sturdy Naib Subedar Jitu Rai, world champion in various ISSF World Cups. In fact, he was the first person from India to qualify for the Rio, and has won gold medals in all the disciplines he has contested, including the commonwealth & Asian games 2014. Apart from Jitu, we have a serious contender in Apurvi Chandela as well. Don’t go on her cute smile and persona, she has won a gold medal in Glasgow CWG 2014,as well as a silver in ISSF Rifle &Pistol World Cup 2015, securing a berth thus in at the Rio Olympics ,2016. Also, we have the experienced stalwarts like Gagan Narang, Heena Sidhu & Abinav Bindra, who is apparently playing his final Olympics. Let the guns go blazing India’s chances at the Rio Olympics, 2016:

Athletics-
Probably a claim to be laughed off, but this time, we have contenders who are giant killers for sure. Discuss throw is a good probability, with throwers Vikas Gowda and Seema Antil Punia in good form, and shot putter Inderjeet Singh, who has sent ripples in the sports fray with his stellar throws of 20 m. plus. A World University Games Gold medalist the previous year, he stands a chance of picking up a surprise. Also, we have the unpredictable race walkers. Beginning from Irfan K. Thodi’s suprising 10th place finish in 2012, they have come a long way, and more than 9 race walkers are in serious contention for a medal in Rio. Who knows who can spring up a surprise and end the 116 year old drought of India in athletics?
India’s chances at the Rio Olympics, 2016:

Boxing-
Even though Shiva Thapa is currently the only Indian who has qualified for the Rio, we still have huge hopes from the stalwarts in the ring. MC Mary Kom has a golden chance with the world championships, and so does L. Sarita Devi and L. Devendro Singh among others. With all fists pumped right, they have a golden path ahead of them. Who knows if they can change the brown color of their medals?

India’s chances at Rio Olympics, 2016:

Badminton-
Another sport to be looked for, this time, we have solid chances of bringing in more than one medal. Saina Nehwal , despite her injuries, is our best bet, considering her golden 2015, we bagged World Championship silver, while Pusarla Venkat Sindhu can give the best a run for their money, on her day. Also, we can hope a surprise from Kidambi Srikanth, now that he has breached the Chinese wall more than twice. Wait for the shuttles to fly, dude!
India’s chances at Rio Olympics, 2016:

Hockey-
Many of you think I must be joking, but considering India’s performance in recent tournaments, and the recent changes in the format of the game, India has the perfect moment to end its drought. Thanks to the reintroduction of the knockout format, India needs to win only two games to enter the quarterfinals and given how Ireland and Canada prevail in hockey, it should be a dead easy task. Also, considering other teams, it has a solid chance to stay in the top two teams, as it can defeat Germany and Netherlands, given its recent track record at FIH Hockey World League. With the Champions Trophy in fray, we can hope for the best, in sound literal sense.
India’s chances at Rio Olympics, 2016:

Wrestling-
The innate strength of India, the time we have a strong call in wrestling. Given how Yogeshwar Dutt is performing apart from biggies like Sushil Kumar, Amit Kumar Dahiya , and the new poster boy of muscle strength , World Championship bronze medalist Narsingh Pancham Yadav, we can expect a much better performance in Rio. It’s a golden chance, for Sushil kumar as well, to climb up the bigger step, and add the gold to his personal collection of bronze and silver. I’m eagerly waiting for the dangle to light up in Rio.
Although there are other sports as well, we aren’t sure that much. However, we can hope for the best now. I remember some lines from the first ad of IPL 2008, which should be an inspiration for all of us, especially the Indian contingent bound for Rio.
‘Aankhein unchi kar Dekh Shikhar, Hathiyar Utha Tu Dikha Hunar, Mitti Mein Teri Hai Taqat, Dushman ki aayi hai aafat ……
Come on India go for it!

By, Isha Chaudhary, Writer – DU Times