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India and the Rio Olympics 2016 – So Near, Yet So Far

India Rio Olympics
Written by Preeti Nath

A week into the highly charged Rio Summer Olympics, yet India flashing a dud in her medal tally – all hopes are going down the drain with the opening week performance.

This edition of the event is different as the 6 medals of London Olympics are deeply etched in the memory of the over enthusiastic citizens of India, eading to high expectations from the 121 athletes representing our motherland.

There were many special arrangements made by the IOC (International Olympics Committee) on the request of Indian Association of Olympics such as:

  1. IOC serving Indian Cuisine in the Olympics Village Games kitchen in order to make the contingents feel at home.
  2. Hockey team got access to TV Sets and extra furniture for which extra sum of 1 crore INR was sent to Indian Embassy in Brazil.
  3. 34 foreign coaches were arranged for foreign exposure.
  4. Extra physiotherapy sessions in order to keep them relaxed and to keep mental stress at bay.
  5. Daily allowance for each athlete was doubled to $100 USD; atotal of 160 crore were spent on preparations of athletes.

With all this it’s clearly evident that the Indian Ministry has got their hopes high and looking for some big wins.

Alas! As the event kicked in, all we got was disappointment.

Apurvi Chandela and Ayonika Paul not even clearing the qualification round, Jitu Rai ending at the 8th position out of 8 places in 10m Air Pistol and the women duo Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare losing to Shuai Zhang and Shuai Peng in a close match was disappointing.  Mirabai Chanu finished 11th in 48kg Women’ weightlifting and Sharath Kamal lost in the 1st round.

Meanwhile, the heated tension between the Indian Sports Minister Vijay Goel’s entourage and Rio Olympic organisers brings India into a bad limelight.

Coach Roelant Oltmans boys, according to him, put up a sloppy show drawing to Canada (15th place holder) yet we can hold our breath to watch these boys bring some glory as they stand high at 5th place with 7 points from 5 matches.

Though it would be cocky to say that India can double the medal count from London Olympics but let’s not lose hope as some of our best athletes like Vikas Krishan, Shiva Thapa and Manoj Kumar in boxing, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna mixed doubles and names like Saina Nehwal and P V Sindu in badminton are yet to make a mark.

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