The last few weeks have been memorable for Indian sports.
And not just because of the Commonwealth Games where we secured the highest no. of medals ever. It began in China, who has been needling us militarily & suffocating us economically, in the Davis Cup. Tennis is one sport in which India trumps China every time. For the Davis Cup tie this time they hosted us at Tainjin where it gets really cold. The chill helped them go up 2-0 on Day-1. On the 2nd day, Paes & Bopanna paired up to reduce the deficit & the two games on the 3rd day went on our favour too. Now, Paes & Bopanna have been loath to team up to represent India in multi-nation events. But they buried the old animosity this time to emerge victorious. Reminded me of the leaders of SP & BSP who, forgetting historical events, now share a Bua-Bhatija relationship.
The we had the Table Tennis players who put up a stupendous show, the ten member team winning 8 medals (including both the team Golds). The surprise run began with the girls dethroning Singapore in the finals. The undisputed star was Manika Batra who, nails painted in the tricolor, won 4 medals (in each of the event she entered). Reminded me of BJP whose testosterone fueled nationalism demolished most national & regional parties in the last general elections & most of the state elections since.
Hockey is considered our national game, not because it originated here but because this was the lone sport where we excelled since pre-independence days. Since the last many years, it has been on a steady decline. At Gold Coast, we topped the pool to reach the semis where we ended up losing the Bronze medal tie to England who we defeated in the group stage. Reminded me of Rahul Gandhi, whose rallies draw huge crowds but, post-results, he inevitably ends up on the losing side.
Wrestling has been our strong point at the CWG’s. This edition was also no different. The 12-member team returned with 12 medals (5 Golds, 3 Silvers, 4 Bronzes). It seems the akhada-trained strong men (and women) simply could not lose. Reminded me of Mukhtar Ansari (and many others), the mafia don turned neta who has been winning UP assembly elections for more than 20 years now.
India hasn’t done well in Squash traditionally unlike our “friends” across the western border. But Dipika Pallikal & Joshna Chinappa have put up some notable performances in the past. At Gold Coast, their pair reached the finals & ended up with a Silver. A creditable achievement in itself, all though could think (and crib) about was some refereeing errors. Reminded me of Mamata Banerjee.
India has a long history of success in Badminton. Prakash Padukone winning the All England way back in 1980. For the past some years now, it’s the girls who have kept the flag flying high in the sport. Saina won the Gold in 2010 (18 years after Syed Modi last did so) but missed the last edition. During this period she saw Sindhu hogging the limelight & glory. But Saina came back to defeat Sindhu & secure the gold medal this time. Reminded me of the communists which regained power in Kerala after losing it everywhere else (in India & the world).
These splendid two sporting weeks for the Indian sports fan have ended. And reminded me of our netas who have, during this period, spoken about nothing else but Kathua & Unnao rape cases.