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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

India at Olympics 2012- Day 3

Day 3

Day 3 of Olympics was all happening for India.
India finally won first medal in any event of Olympics 2012. Well, in a way it can be a disappointment, because last time we had gold in this event and we bargained it to a bronze. But nevertheless its a big victory and accolades to Gagan Narang to make it happen. In the same event, last time gold medal winner Abhinav Bindra couldn't make it to finals. It was disheartening, but when the competition is so stiff that 594/600 makes you stand at 16th position, it tells you that there is no room for error. And if its not your day, what ever you try you can not gain that much concentration to hit 600/600. So, just bad luck Bindra.
But one thing that irks me is, just 4 years back when Bindra won the only Gold medal, Indians were going gaga over him and he was a national hero and today when he performed poor, people are talking about his retirement! Get a life, let them decide what to do with their career.

- Abhinav Bindra crashes out of London Olympics

- Gagan Narang wins bronze medal in 10m air rifle at London Olympics

Moving on to other events, other successful stories of the day comes from Badminton and Tennis.

As expected, Saina Nehwal has sealed her place in pre-quarter finals. One step closer to fulfil every body's expectation.

- Saina Nehwal sails into pre-quarterfinals of Olympics

Also, the women's double players Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa won their match keep their hopes alive in the competition. It was a must win and it came against a much better team in ranking. While Indian team stands at position 20, they beat a team at 10th position. Next match is against 13th position team, which again is a must win match. Wish them to bring the best out in the game.

- Jwala-Ashwini fight back to keep Olympic hopes alive

On the Tennis court, the two Indian men's controversial teams, Bhupati-Bopanna and Paes-Vardhan kept their hopes alive by winning their first round matches. While the B-B team had to struggle a lot for their first win, P-V team had relatively easy game. Hopefully they continue winning their upcoming games.

- Paes-Vardhan through to second round at Olympics
- Bhupathi-Bopanna start Olympic campaign with win

Rest of the news are disappointments of the day. But one of them stands out of he rest.

Sumit Sangwan lost his first round boxing match in 81 kg category. Apparently it was a close match and result could have gone other way round. It is debatable who should have won the bout. But ultimately its our loss. I wish other boxers don't experience such a situation.

- Boxer Sumit Sangwan crashes out of London Olympics

Vishnu Vardhan received a last minute opportunity to play singles on Wimbledon court. It was his first time experience to play at Wimbledon and although he lost the match in straight sets, he must be not much disappointed.

 - Vishnu Vardhan goes down fighting on Olympic debut

One of the archer Bombayla Devi had a go in individual event of Women's archery. She did well to win initial round but finally lost in pre-quarters.In team event also, her performance was the best among the three members. With her I guess the Indian challenge in Women's archery is over.

- Bombayla Devi crashes out of women's individual archery event in Olympics

A big disappointment to all came when India lost to Holland in Hockey. Holland stands 3rd in the world ranking compared to India's 10th position. So, it was a difficult match and unsurprisingly India lost it. Although its good to see Indian scoring 2 goals against their 3 and hopefully they will take it ahead from here to win remaining matches.

 - Holland beat India 3-2 in Olympic hockey opener/Hockey: India go down fighting against Netherlands

Monday, July 30, 2012

India at Olympics 2012- Day 2

Second day of Olympics was less disappointing than first. Well, no medals yet but ratio of success: failure has reduced.

I am still not sure about sculls and repecage, but Swarn Singh is making India proud. He won his race standing first and has entered quarter finals. His performance was way better than all his competitors. I wish he keep continuing the good form and makes it to the next round.

- Rower Swarn Singh wins repechage round in men's single sculls

As expected, one of the biggest medal hope Saina nehwal has started well. She beat her opposition player from Switzerland in just 21 minutes. Well its not group matches, but the quarter finals where Saina will actually find a tough competition. Hopefully she keep performing better and better with every game.

- Saina Nehwal begins Olympic medal bid on strong note

In the light weight 60kg boxing, Jai Bhagwan played fantastic and beat his opponent by a big margin of 18-8 to reserve a place in pre-quarter finals. Its still a long way to go, but we have one more player to support and look out for with a hope of medal.

- Jai Bhagwan storms into pre-quarterfinals of London Olympics

All other results are disappointing. Except for shooters Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj (who are totally a new name for me) rest of the failures are really disappointing.

- Shooters Heena Sidhu, Annu Raj bow out of Olympics

 Archery has been the biggest disappointment. Our archery team once again showed that they go weak under pressure situations.

- Indian women's archery team bows out of Olympics

Soumyajit lost his 2nd round in TT. Well I wasn't expecting a lot. He crossed first round, that itself is an achievement. His performance is surely better than many big known names like Jwala Gutta and Somdev, who failed to cross even the first round. No big expectations, but at least cross first round.

- Soumyajit crashes out to end Indian campaign in TT
- Jwala-Diju on brink of exit at London Games
- Somdev's Olympic dream comes to an end

Sunday, July 29, 2012

India at Olympics 2012- Day 1

It was a disappointing beginning for India, once again in Olympics.
Do not know why, but this year I was expecting to listen some good news right from the beginning.
If not medals then at least 75% of Indian participants succeeding in their events.
But unfortunately that didn't happened.
If you look at the results:

- Sania-Rushmi bow out of Women's doubles event of Olympics
- Soniya Chanu finishes 7th in 48kg weightlifting
- Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponappa lose Olympic opener
- Shiva Thapa's Olympic debut ends with crushing first round defeat
- Vijay Kumar fails to qualify for 10m Air Pistol finals
- Paddler Ankita Das crashes out of London Olympics
- Vijay Kumar fails to qualify for 10m Air Pistol finals
- Men's archery team knocked out of Olympics
- Women's archery team stood 9th in the ranking race.
- Jwala-Diju pair loses opening group match

It is disappointing.

I expected Sania-Rushmi pair to at least cross 2 rounds if not win a medal.

Women's doubles and mixed doubles badminton results were big disappointments. Although they are not out of competition yet, the task is tougher ahead. I am surprised because few days back I read somewhere Jwala Gutta saying that she is prepared to play more than one game in a day (since she is participating in both Women's doubles and mixed doubles). She has always been doing this and it is not new to her. But now that she lost both her opening matches, she is blaming the organizing committee for mismanagement in scheduling the matches on same day.

I feel players better concentrate on their games rather than giving bites to media. Unlike Jwala, I haven't heard a single word from Saina ( a lot from Sania though who crashed out in first round). So, even if Saina looses, there won't be any talks behind her back. She played , she lost, story ends.

Another player I am wishing to concentrate on her games is Mary Kom. I don't know why at this moment she is giving all these statements in the media. We know you are a struggler, you have come long way fighting it out all the time and actually with no need to prove yourself. But please get back to the ring and concentrate on your game and shut the mouth of your critics with a medal.

One more disappointment was Men's archery team. Although they fought and lost a close game after tie, but we were expecting this to happen may be in the finals, not before that and surely not in the first round.

I had heard of Shiva Thapa in last few days and was looking forward for his fights but I guess inexperience took over the excitement. Well he has a long way to go and hopefully he will turn into another Vijender Singh in coming years.

While there were mostly disappointments, at least few Indians survived the first day.

- Vijender Singh beats Danabek Suzhanov in men's middleweight boxing
- Soumyajit Ghosh makes memorable Olympic debut
- Rower Swarn Singh 4th in singles sculls heats, to fight in repechage

Vijender Singh is one of our best bets in this season and I am looking forward to his game.
I haven't heard of Soumyajit Ghosh earlier, but now will watch out for him in coming days.
And I no idea what sculls heat and repechage means but I am wishing Rower Swarn Singh very best wishes to do well in the round of repechage.

On the other note, words are making rounds about a mystery woman in India's march past. I did not see the inauguration, but did saw the bite of India's troupe walking into the ground. Even I was surprised to see a woman in casual wear walking in front of Indian players. She neither looked like a player nor her casual wear made us accept her as  one of the managers. Now it is clear that she had nothing to do Indian squad. But I must admire the confidence with which she was walking in front all the crowd, everybody had to give up suspicion of her being an intruder at that instant.

- India clueless about mystery woman at march past

On bigger front, Phelps is fading out this season. Guy who won all the 8 golds in last season could not manage to come in top three in his first swim. Lets see how he performs in others.

- Lochte wins 400m medley, Phelps shut out

A new world record is set in rowing by guys from Newzealand beating the record of English guys

- New Zealand set world rowing record

And not to forget a doping test finding found the first culprit of the season.

- Hysen Pulaku becomes first doping cheat of London Olympics

All these news can be read in detail on Times of India

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympics 2012, London

Olympics 2012 is beginning today. This time it is in London. I live not very far distance from the London, but in one of the European countries France. But I don't feel any excitement among people here for Olympics if compared to European Cup that took place just few days back. All the conversation that take place about Olympics goes around these statements:

A: I guess there are Olympics games some time around this month!
     Do you know when they are starting?
B: No idea, need to check on net. You got any hopes for medal for your country.

A: Yeah, possibly gold in ---, silver in --- and some bronze here and there.
     what about your country?
B: Some similar statement as A

And that's all. All the Olympic related conversation end somewhere close to this. Most of the time, they do not know any of their athletes names. All they say is, "There is a guy who runs very fast. He should win a medal or some such kind of stuff."

I started wondering, whether Europe has any active participation in Olympics or not?

I checked last Olympics medal tally. Well it is not very good, but it is not bad either. There are as good as 10 European countries in top 20 (including England and Russia). But compared to their performance people's interest in Olympics appears very less. I was more surprised over this attitude, because many of the other games (other than Football and Cricket) are quite prevalent among Europeans. They actively participate in different games and follow them religiously.

Compared to that, We Indians hardly play any game. If at all anybody play games, we mostly play Cricket and we totally follow Cricket religiously. The knowledge of other games is close to negligible among most of Indians.

In spite of this situation, we are very much enthusiastic about Olympics and Asian games. Though, these are the only times when we refresh our knowledge about latest lot of players in different games and this knowledge stays in our mind till the next Olympics or Asian games.
 I get my share of excitement about Olympics from Indian newspapers. There are lot of news with hopes of medals from different athletes, wrestlers, archers, shuttlers, boxers, shooters, which are followed by very strong (positive as well as negative) comments by readers.
 Then there are issues (Tennis chaos among pairing of players, injury of main hockey player) that hits the front page of the newspaper.

These things connects us to the Olympics excitement that we are used to over the years although we hardly won any medals in last many years.

This year appear to change the way the story is normally written. We are looking forward to win some good number of medals.

I will try to follow the achievements and disappointments of Indian players and make an update at regular intervals on this blog. Hopefully I succeed in what I am planning.

 Lets give all our best wishes to Indian players. Hope they succeed in their respective competitions.