Thursday, January 18, 2018


The medal tally has doubled from the last Olympics at Beijing (2008).  India won six medals this time in London Olympics (2012).  India got two silver and four bronze medals.  Unfortunately, this time we could not clinch gold.  However, the country celebrated the success and gave a hero's welcome to the champions.  Flurry of awards was announced for the winners by state and central government.  The Indian Olympic Association had sent a total of 83 athletes to compete in 13 sports making it the largest contingent India has ever sent to an Olympic Games.  The Indian effort to prepare for the games consisted of funds from the Indian Government to the tune of $48.1 million and an additional $11 million in private sponsorships.  Sushil Kumar was the flag bearer in the opening ceremony and Mary Kom was the flag bearer at the closing ceremony.

Shooting has been the arena where the expectation was high to bring laurels for the country.  Abhinav Bindra who won gold in 2008 Beijing Olympics was the biggest disappointment as he was out in the qualifiers.  Rathore the silver medalist in 2004 Athens Olympics also could not make the cut.  Gagan Narang a medal hopeful did not disappoint and won the first medal for the country.  He won a bronze medal in 10 meter air rifle.  Vijay Kumar was the unsung hero who won the silver medal for the country in 25 m rapid fire pistol.

Now moving on to wrestling which has been another sport where our country expected a medal did not really disappoint.  Sushil Kumar the bonze medalist in Beijing Olympics, this time won silver in 66 kg freestyle wrestling.  Yogeshwar Dutt won bronze in 60 kg freestyle wrestling was also something to cheer.

Next in the list was boxing, where medal hopeful Vijender Singh and Devendro Singh disappointed as they both lost in their quarter final ties.  However, Mary Kom held our head high with her fighting performance to win bronze.

In badminton, with the current form Saina Nehwal was in, the country expected her to bring a medal for the first time in this sport.  She won the bronze.  However, Kashyap, Jwala, Diju, and Ponnappa disappointed.

Moving on to the sports where India expected a medal but came back empty handed.  First, in archery, Deepika Kumari, World No. 1 bowed out quietly when it seemed that this time archery would bring medal for the country.

Moving on to tennis, the feud between the nations’ elite racquet-wielders brought Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in the spotlight just a few days before the Olympics.  The latter’s refusal to partner the former and the resulting face-off with Tennis association seemed to threaten their participation in the prestigious tournament.  Nevertheless, the deadlock was broken after much mudslinging in public and to please both the parties, a compromise formula was drafted.  Leander Paes, participating in his last ever Olympics partnered Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles event.  However, Paes’ hopes of adding another Olympic medal to his bronze that he won at Atlanta were dashed as top seeded pair of Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka outclassed the Indian pair.  Before them, Mahesh Bhupathi, who was paired with Rohan Bopanna, lost in straight sets to French pair of Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau in the men’s doubles event in the second round.

Hockey was the biggest setback of Olympics 2012.  With the appointment of Australian Michael Nobbs as the Indian hockey coach and the stupendous show during the Olympic qualifiers in New Delhi, seeds of hopes were sown.  One after the other the Indian team lead by captain Bharat Chettri succumbed to six consecutive defeats at the London Games.  The team failed to win a single match that resulted in its worst ever Olympic performance that saw them finishing last among the 12 participating nations.

Overall, with due respect to the medal winners, I would like to end with a simple question that in a country with a population of 125 crores we are still not in double figures in medal tally.  If sports are being given priority at the elementary level and given an apt backing then we could be rest assured that the medal count could not be done in fingers.


sushil k

This was the sixth medal for the country in London Olympics, Silver in 66 kg freestyle wrestling.  Sushil Kumar created history by winning medal in back to back Olympics.  He won bronze in 2008 Beijing Olympics.  The expectation was very high from this wrestler of bringing a medal in London Olympics.  He did not disappoint the country and changed the color of the medal from bronze to silver.  He was suffering from dehydration and a stomach bug by the time he came out for his final bout.  On a day which saw him battle past renowned wrestlers, India's Sushil Kumar braved his illness to put up a valiant fight against Japan's Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu, falling eventually to come out second best.


The wrestler, who competes in the 66 kg men's division, had a bye in the first round.  In the pre-quarter, he started in style, beating the reigning Olympic champion Ramazan Sahin of Turkey on superior technical points.  He won his quarter final bout against Ikhtiyor Navruzov of Uzbekistan.  His next opponent, Akzhurek Tanatarov of Kazakhstan who had earlier beaten him in the Asian qualifications in Kazakhstan and it was a revenge match of sorts for the Indian.



It was the fifth medal for India in the London Olympics.  After shooting, badminton, and boxing it was the turn of wrestling which brought medal to the country.  Yogeshwar Dutt, the real fighter with will power of steel showed his real prowess.  Despite a badly swollen eye, fought three repechage bouts to win an Olympic bronze in the 60kg category free style wrestling.  He defeated North Korea's RI Jim for bronze.  After KD Jadhav (1952, Helsinki) and Sushil Kumar (2008, Beijing), Yogeshwar becomes the third Indian wrestler to win an Olympic medal.



Creating records is not something new for this super mom who again created history by becoming the country's first woman boxer to win a medal at the Olympics.  Mary Kom however, had to settle for the bronze as she went down fighting in her 51kg semi-final bout against local favourite Nicola Adams. 



The Indian Badminton queen again made her country proud fulfilling her dream that she has cherished of an Olympic medal.  This was the third medal for the country in the London Olympics after the bronze of Gagan Narang and silver of Vijay Kumar both in shooting.  The expectation was huge on the young shoulders from the country for a medal and with the form she was in the expectation reached it helm. 


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