13 June, 2021

Service, Then Jubilation

Young Indians are plucking gold at the CWG at will. Tougher challenges await them at August’s Asiad.

Going For Gold
Clockwise from left, the irrepressible Manika Batra, Manu Bhaker, Sanjita Chanu and Sathish Sivalingam
Photograph by Getty Images & PTI
Service, Then Jubilation

In the veritable deluge of gold-tin­ted performances from Indian athletes at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, spare a cheer for the gallant failure of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, who came fourth in the finals of the 400-metre race in Gold Coast in Australia. In a way, this was the latest occ­asion of prideful despair  for the Ind­ian fan—in the 1960 Rome Olympics, Milkha Singh had lost a medal by one tenth of a second in the 400 mts; and in the 1984 Los Angeles Games, P.T. Usha’s losing the bronze by one-hundredth of a second in the 400m hurdles was even more cruel. Yahiya is the only athlete to enter the 400 mts final in a CWG after Milkha did in 1958 in Cardiff. Nonetheless, he broke his own national record with 45.31 seconds.

Meanwhile, the Indian tricolour flies high at Gold Coast. As the 12-day event creeps towards a close, India is proudly placed at the third position in the medals tally—its 12 golds so far buoyed by a few pleasant surprises. The haul incl­udes nine medals from weightlifters alone, including five golden ones. And there is...

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