Misguided Priorities: Why Do Big Players Shy Away From The Small Stages?


India is sitting pretty on the top of medal’s tally in the ongoing South Asian Games. With 186 medals, including 114 gold medals, has been clearly on top of their performance in the tournament. India has always been on top of their performance in tournaments played in Asia. India was placed second in the Commonwealth Games in 2010, below China and finished really well in the Asian Games.

Will it be justified to say that India is a ‘Pro’ on their home turf?

The blue-riband event of athletics was expected to trigger gold rush for India and it went pretty much that way with athletes contributing 7 gold medals to the tally.

Neeraj Chopra (men’s javelin throw), Arokya Rajiv (men’s 400m), Arjun (discus throw), J Surendhar (men’s 110m hurdles), Gayathry (women’s 100m hurdles), Ankit Sharma (men’s long jump) and Sahana Kumari (women’s high jump) were the ones to clinch top honours.


Earlier, Indians dominated the pool once again to pick five gold on the final day of the swimming competition to stamp their authority in the event. Seasoned swimmer Veerdhawal Khade clinched his first gold of the Games by winning the men’s 50m butterfly event. Other gold winners for India were Shraddha Sudhir (200m medley for women), Jyotsna Pansare (50m butterfly for women) and both the men’s and women’s 4×100 medley relay teams.

In total, India won five gold, three silver and one bronze on the final day of the swimming event.

I am not just giving you a breakdown on the medals tally of our team. I am just trying to answer a question which came to my mind. Where do these names vanish in the Olympics and other big events?

Is it because reason that the veterans think that playing in these games does not give them the popularity and the status, which they get used to? The likes of Vijender Singh, Yogeshwar Dutt have opted out of the event and are more interested in commercialization.

The receivers of national honours, Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal have not even bothered to participate in these games, inspite of being in an excellent form with Sania Mirza on an undefeated stretch and Saina being the recent number one in Badminton.

That takes me to two of the possible conclusion. Either the elite players have accomplished what they wanted to and are now concentrating on commercial tournaments, or the government is too lenient for them to concentrate on their practices for Rio Olympics.

Vishesh Sharma

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