ALAPPUZHA:The great boxer once jested about his trade, “Boxing is the only sport you can get your brain shook, you money took and your name in the undertaker’s book.” It seems the boxing event, scheduled from February 6 to 13, too will go down in the undertaker’s book as the apparent pulling out of players will knock off the grid’s sheen.
This is another instance of a feud between a federation and the IOA. Such is the frequency of tirades it has become a passé of sorts. In the end, the public and players suffer. For the public, not just the boxing aficionados, it was an opportunity lost to see some of the finest pugilists in action. The Games will be less thrilling without the foremost boxers. That might have a bearing on Haryana’s medal count, as they were supposed to keep their stranglehold on the event. Manipur and Services, too, would be affected.
The chasm between Services and Haryana widened with the former winning eight of 18 gold medals in rowing. Haryana will also have to stave off Maharashtra’s challenge, who fished out 10 in swimming.
It was a reasonable day for the hosts who winkled out five gold medals, three by rowers, one each by shooter Elizabeth Susan Koshy and swimmer Sajan Prakash. This was Elizabeth’s second gold, and Kerala has charted itself on the shooting map. In Elizabeth, urbane and levelheaded, Kerala shooting has an ideal pin-up girl, who is only 20. Sajan’s rise is as significant. Not since the heyday of Sebastian Xavier has a Malayalee monopolised the pool like this 20-year-old.
Meanwhile, the coxless pair of Manjeet Singh and Davinder Singh fetched a maiden medal for Telangana. Asrar Patil eked out their second in single scull. Tamil Nadu kept chugging away, as they attached three gold medals in table tennis. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have two each. But it’s the fall of Manipur, runners-up last season, that has been most shocking.