In small pockets of India, in the villages, towns and cities there are few strong-willed men and women who are visualising one dream every day and every night. It is to win a medal for India at the Commonwealth Games 2010 to be held in New Delhi. They are not going to be there for the money, (The cash prize awarded to medal winners by Indian government may be in lakhs but not astoundingly high for most players coming from lower middle class backgrounds). They are not going to be there for the fame either (Players do realise that majority of Indians do not know the name of a sports person beyond Sachin Tendulkar and M S Dhoni). They are going to be in Delhi just to compete, win and see the Indian flag fly a step higher than other countries, due to their determined strides.
Indians who really want to back these gritty individuals can hope to see the best performance ever by an Indian sports contingent this year, because it is an international event being played in home turf. It is also because for the past few years many sportspersons have got the opportunity to play at international levels and learn and unlearn many tactics of their game.
Here is a list of games that you might want to lookout for, where chances are in favour of team India to bag a few Gold, Silver or Bronze.
The name Vijendar Singh has already become synonymous to the sports in India when the boxer bagged his Olympic Bronze in Beijing Olympics. But what boxing fans will also get to see during CWG 2010 is Akhil Kumar the reigning commonwealth games gold medallist fight for his title and also 10 other boxers from India doing their best to win a medal.
For the last 700 days they have been in a camp practising their grappling techniques, enhancing their endurance levels and focussing on speed training. They are a buoyant bunch of wrestlers who look tough and have even tougher resolutions to win a medal for the country. The bet is that they would win at least 21 medals in CWG 2010 and this assurance comes from none other than the man who brought the old glory of the game back to India – Sushil Kumar. So let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Track & Field
India’s athletic squad for the year is a humungous 90 with 46 men and 44 women selected to represent India in various track and field events. India has never really made it to the top when in comes to these events but we can always expect the unexpected. The officials believe India can win 6 to 8 medals in Athletics but let us hope there are a lot more reasons to cheer on.
The new selection policies have aroused a lot of controversies and players like Rajyavardhan Rathore have been quite vocal about their dissatisfaction over the totally illogical selection procedure. But what fans can hope is that the Indian shooting team with the likes of Gagan Narang, Abhinav Bindra and Tejaswini Sawant can do what they have been always doing in International events for the last few years despite beaurocratic hurdles – WIN.
The women hockey team of India has always faired well in the commonwealth games with the girls winning the 2002 gold and the 2006 silver and therefore the hopes for this year are again on the gold when they will be playing for the home crowd. It is the men’s team that may feel the pressure owing to their fizzled performances in the past. If they can forget the politics and concentrate on just the game, hockey may see two golds from both the men and women’s team.
It is for the first time that the Indian badminton squad has started preparing for the commonwealth games as early as 2006. From 40 probable to 27 to a selected few whose name will be soon disclosed, the badminton federation authorities have put in determined efforts this time to make the world see the mettle of Indian shuttlers. While Khel Ratna Saina will definitely be a show stealer, there are other players too who are competent enough to excel.
While the tug of war between players and officials continues behind closed doors regarding the pays, it is certain for now that top notch Indian players will put their best ‘racket’ forward to win a medal for India during the mega event.
From 3 to 14 October therefore be there for team India. Your motivation is the only thing these players will need to excel and win.