6 medals does not seem to be a big number but when you consider that this is India’s highest tally so far in the Olympics it is a fantastic achievement. The medal winners have done the country proud and there were surely some highs for Indian in London Olympics.
Shooting was India’s biggest medal contributor along with wrestling in this Olympics. Gagan Narang got the ball rolling for India when he won the men’s 10 meter air-rifle bronze. His performance for sure was inspiring and probably led the path for others to aspire for a medal too in the competition. Vijay Kumar though went one step higher when he clinched the silver medal in the 25 meter rapid fire pistol. The biggest disappointment though was Abhinav Bindra who was India’s gold winner in 2008 Beijing Olympics. He lost in the qualifying round and finished 16th overall. A huge disappointment considering that he was India’s medal hope this Olympics too.
Boxing along with Tennis was considered India’s best chance of gold in 2012 Olympics. Vijender Singh was India’s biggest medal hope as he won the Bronze medal in 2008 Beijing Olympics. This year also marked the debut of Women’s boxing in Olympics and India had 5 time world champion Mary Kom participating in the 51 Kg category. Mary Kom though did not disappoint as she fought tenaciously to become India’s only medal winner in Boxing. She lost her semi-final bout but had done enough to claim the Bronze medal.
Most of the Indian boxers reached the quarter-finals but could not progress to the semis which would have assured them of a medal.
World number 4 Saina Nehwal carried the hopes of the entire nation in Badminton. She was expected to win a medal in the event and she did not disappoint. Saina lost in the Semis but went on to win the Bronze medal when China’s Xing Wang retired after injury in the Bronze medal game. People might call this lucky as Saina was trailing 1 game to none but the Indian ace deserved this medal as she played brilliantly throughout the event.
In the men’s singles Parupalli Kashyap played brilliantly to reach the quarters but failed to reach the medal round. He for sure punched above his weight in the Olympics and I hope that this performance will inspire him to achieve greater heights in the future.
Again yet another sport in which India was expected to win few medals. Sushil Kumar who won the Bronze in 2008 Beijing Olympics was once again India’s biggest medal hope in 2012. He did not disappoint though as he ended India’s Olympics on a high when he won the silver in the frees-style event. He fought bad health in the finals to give it all but could not get gold.
Yogeshwar Dutt too performed brilliantly to win the Bronze. He too battled injury to win the medal. His was one of the most inspiring performances for India in the 2012 Olympics for India. He battled a severely swollen eye to win the bronze medal match and for sure emphasized the hard work and determination.
Tennis was an event where India was supposed to win a medal for sure. Considering that we had the legends Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in the mix. It was disappointing that we did not even reach the semis in any of the events. The event did not start on the right note when the legends ended up fighting on their differences and to be frank it was ironical that India failed to win a medal in this event. India needs to somehow unearth some good tennis players to replace Leander and Mahesh or we might just lose the great legacy these two have built in the doubles arena.
Overall this event was a grand success for India. 6 medals are twice as many we got in 2008 Olympics. Even though we did not win a gold medal this was a commendable performance. I just hope that this inspires more people to take up to athletics and sports in general in the future. The government needs to support these athletes too. It is very difficult to expect people to take up sports which might not even pay their livelihood. People keep saying that Indians have a population of 1 billion and we can’t even get a single gold. Even though it sounds bad it is not the entire story.The answer lies in the way we treat our athletes. There was news in the media as to how substandard the facilities were for these athletes when they were preparing for this event.
The government needs to make sure that people who are in athletics don’t give up the sports just because it becomes difficult for them to survive participating in it. Until there is a change let us just enjoy this success which was achieved amidst adversity and lack of support. Sponsors need to step in and support these athletes and make sure they get the best facilities to prepare and be in great condition when they represent the country at the highest level.