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Will we get more medals this time?

Every time India embarks on an Asian Games journey, the expectations are usually either reasonable or outrageous. Reasonable because expectations are within limitations, knowing in which sports we are insurmountable and where we falter. Outrageous because sometimes we forget our limits and aim for the sky. The flipside is, our sports officials  have stopped predicting success.

Published: 20th August 2018 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2018 02:16 AM   |  A+A-

Every time India embarks on an Asian Games journey, the expectations are usually either reasonable or outrageous. Reasonable because expectations are within limitations, knowing in which sports we are insurmountable and where we falter. Outrageous because sometimes we forget our limits and aim for the sky. The flipside is, our sports officials  have stopped predicting success.

This time, the expectations are bordering on the outrageous, but perhaps it can be explained why. We will do well in sports where there are more medals. That will swell the medal count. That athletics, boxing and wrestling are some of the sports which should fetch us many medals augurs well for India. Unless one does well in disciplines like athletics, swimming, gymnastics, wrestling or boxing, the medal count will not increase significantly. Though we are expected to do better than last time, there have been muted send-offs. No predictions either. The unnecessary controversies surrounding selections created an unhealthy atmosphere in the Indian Olympic Association. The sportspersons, the protagonists of this drama, were upstaged by quarrelling officials.

Nevertheless, the sports ministry and the nation will keep a close watch on India’s performances. After the 2016 Rio Olympic debacle, this is the mid-point. A task-force was set up; numerous changes in policies, including in selections, were ushered in. The sports minister’s pet project Khelo India was robust and even certain selection policies were tweaked to benefit the grass-roots players. This Asian Games  will offer an opportunity for the sports officials and experts to see where we are headed and if need be, introduce changes that will help athletes perform better at the Tokyo Olympics in 2018. Even the Target Olympic Podium Scheme will be revised after the Asian Games. Considering that 572 sportspersons are representing India, the largest contingent in recent times, the medal count needs to swell. If it doesn’t, it can surely be termed a failure.



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