A glimmer of hope – Indian sports in international arena

Future of India in the global sports competitions

Indian is a country with population of 1.2 billion people and growing, second largest in the world. Home or abroad, the Indians are known for their hard work and perseverance. And yet, when it come to the sports, India does not have much to show in the international arena. India has never been a top contender in the global sports competitions.

Yes, cricket is big; the country is crazy about the game. There are about ten competitive cricket playing nations in the world, and India is often often among the top ten! :) Beyond cricket, India does not really have much world presence in the sports and athletic competitions.

In the Olympics games, for example, India has miserably failed to deliver any world class performance. At one time, India used to rein supreme in the field hockey, but not anymore. The most medal that India has ever won in the Olympics are 3, in 2008 Olympics in Beijing. That is quite a dismal performance for a country of the size of India!

There have been numerous explanations for India’s poor performance at the international level. Poverty, malnutrition, neglected infrastructure, lack of funding and equipment, political corruption and the predominance of cricket…..so many factors combined together have been blamed in the past.

However, it is worth noting that India is not the same country it used to be a few decades back. India, as a nation, has made a lots of headway; it has taken some giant steps in the right direction. The economy is booming and the influence of western culture including the western sports is everywhere. Could it be that the current prosperity may lead to a more competitive India at the international platform? It is quite possible. In fact, it seems that India may be on the right track for the first time.

For the most recent performance, look at the results from 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. India bagged 101 medals in total – a new record for the country. Even better, beyond the total medal count, the mots impressive part is that India was able to perform and win in a variety of fields. For the first time, India showed a presence in the ‘track and field’ arena. India’s Women’s Discus team swept all the three medals. And then, four Indian women sprinted to a historic victory in the 4×100 meter relay race. It proves two things for sure:

  1. India can compete at the international level beyond games like Cricket and Field Hockey.
  2. Indian sportswomen are ready for the world stage, you can no longer count the Indian women out.

Many more stars are emerging from the games like Badminton, shooting, boxing, wrestling, tennis and other international sports.

What India really needs is a more serious and committed attitude towards the international competition, a more disciplined approach to the preparation for the games. The commonwealth games could be a key catalyst to promote a better and more competitive environment for Indians.

No one was taking India seriously before the beginning of The Delhi Commonwealth Games. Maybe, it is time for India to wake up and realize that the country can be a key player in the global competitions. If athletes and teams can keep the Commonwealth Games’ spirit alive, India could lead to many Olympics level victories. This could be a start of many new success stories in international sports arena.

Hail India, and hail Indian sportsmen and sportswomen!!!!

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