Sport

India would be hard-pressed to reprise 2010 show

MEDAL HOPEFULS: Indian fans would be hoping that Achanta Sharath Kamal can do a golden encore in table tennis and Olympic medal-winning grapplers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt can bolster the tally at the Glasgow Games.

MEDAL HOPEFULS: Indian fans would be hoping that Achanta Sharath Kamal can do a golden encore in table tennis and Olympic medal-winning grapplers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt can bolster the tally at the Glasgow Games.  

Expectations are bound to be high as the Indian team gets into action from Thursday, given the fact that the country had reaped rich dividends at home in 2010. India had finished second in the overall tally behind Australia with a haul of 101 medals, made up of 38 golds, 27 silvers and 36 bronzes.

The chances of a repeat show is quite remote, given several factors like scrapping of archery, tennis and Greco Roman wrestling from the programme and the reduction in the total medals on offer (from 44 to 19) in shooting.

The archers had delivered eight medals, including three golds, in New Delhi, tennis added four medals including the gold in men’s singles through Somdev Devvarman, and the Greco-Roman wrestlers had boosted the home team tally with eight medals. It would be only interesting then to have a close look at India’s chances at Glasgow 2014, discipline-wise.

Of the 17 disciplines included in the programme, the country will be represented only in 14, having decided not to field teams in netball, rugby sevens and triathlon.

Shooting: The shooters provided the biggest collection to the Indian tally in New Delhi with 30 medals including 14 golds. Now with 14 of those events included in the 25 scrapped, one thing is certain: the Indians definitely have their backs to the wall.

 Shooters have been the most successful across the 15 editions in which the country has taken part. Out of the 374 medals (140-123-111) won so far, the contribution from the shooters stands at 102 (52-31-19). Jaspal Rana remains the most decorated Indian shooter with 15 medals between 1994 and 2006.

India has sent a 30-member team and among those fielded include the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, 2012 London silver medallist Vijay Kumar and bronze medallist Gagan Narang.  Gagan, who won four golds at New Delhi, will not be defending the 10m air rifle title, owing to a poor show at the trials.

Overall, the Indian shooters have not been in great form through the current season but the team management is hopeful that each shooter will win a medal.

Badminton: Though the late withdrawal of Saina Nehwal, who had won gold in New Delhi, has affected the team’s morale, one should not write off the team.

In P.V. Sindhu, the team has a sound replacement to take top honours in singles. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, given their vast experience, are capable of repeating their golden run in women’s doubles. There is also hope that the Indian team, seeded third, getting a medal from the mixed team event.

Wrestling: India is fielding seven grapplers in both the sections. Apart from the 2012 London silver-medallist Sushil Kumar and bronze-medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, there are other young wrestlers who would be looking forward to make hay under the Glasgow summer sun.

The freestyle wrestlers have contributed the most, after the shooters, to the overall Indian tally by winning 70 medals (29-27-14).

Gymnastics: Ashish Kumar by bagging a silver and bronze in New Delhi became the first Indian gymnast to win medals at the Games. But with internal bickering within the Gymnastics Federation of India playing spoilsport until recently, the team is here without sufficient foreign exposure and training and this could prove quite a dampener. Ashish winning a medal or two cannot be ruled out.

Hockey: India was pummelled 8-0 by Australia in the men’s final at New Delhi.

The recent performances of the team, particularly in the World championships where it finished ninth, have not been praiseworthy. Coach Terry Walsh is hopeful that the Sardar Singh-led team will return home by finishing within the top three. England is the other team that can derail the Indian chances

In the women’s section, the team under Ritu Rani is a young one and any medal can be nothing more than a bonus as the country had only finished fifth in 2010.

Table tennis: Achanta Sharath Kamal, one of the heroes in New Delhi when the paddlers contributed five medals, is back to defend the men’s single title.

Boxing: The last two years have been quite difficult, what with the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) imposing sanctions on the Indian federation in 2012 and then going ahead to de-recognise it last year. The formation of an alternate body, Boxing India, has only served to bring about fissures in the Indian sports officialdom.

At New Delhi, India won three gold and four bronze medals. With the inclusion of women’s boxing in programme, the country is hopeful that a squad boasting the presence of 2008 Beijing bronze medallist Vijender Singh would do well to give Indian boxing a much-required boost.

Other sports: India is also fielding teams in athletics, weightlifting, swimming, lawn bowls, cycling, squash and judo here. There are definite chances of India winning medals in weightlifting while a podium finish is not ruled out in squash.

Since athletics is scheduled to start only on July 27, the Indian chances would be dwelt upon on the eve of the competition. Watch this space for that.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 9:54:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/india-would-be-hardpressed-to-reprise-2010-show/article6242226.ece

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