30 November, 2020

Faster, Higher, Winninger

A win over Pakistan and a bagful of medals. Could it be India's best-ever outing in the games?

Faster, Higher, Winninger
It was hard to miss the exuberance in the Indian contingent at the Asian Games in Busan, South Korea. Indian athletes were in constant touch with the hockey team on Thursday, the day the defending champions were clashing with arch-rivals Pakistan. Tirkey's boys, in turn, kept regular tabs on the athletes. In the end, the news from both the stadia was heartwarming. While India was celebrating its most productive day in athletics, with three golds and one silver, the hockey team allowed Pakistan to equalise three times before taking a decisive 4-3 lead in a high-tension match marked by four yellow cards and one red card.

The show in Busan is not over as yet, but indications are that it could be India's best ever outing. Ironically, it's happened in South Korea, where 16 years ago India had a disastrous campaign—more than 400 athletes and officials brought home just five golds, four of them through the efforts of P.T. Usha, prompting the then prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, to remark: "If only Usha can win gold medals, why send more than 400 athletes to each Games?"...


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