There is quantity but quality lacks far beyond the world in the Indian athletics team that a medal will itself a biggest achievement.
Last time India won a medal in athletics is far before, that there is technically speaking no country called India existed. Norman Pritchard, a British born in Kolkatta (Calcutta) won 2 silver medals in athletics representing (British) India at 1900 Olympics. So, the best the Indian ever came in winning a medal in Athletes are ‘flying Sikh’ Milka Singh and P.T Usha, who both last out after photo finish in an epic final. 14 players qualifying to Olympics in athletics is not new for India, because we had 17 representation during last two Olympics.
Field Events – Day dream for a medal
Yes, its really a day dream to think Indian players will bring a medal in field events such as discus throw, high jump, shot put and triple jump. There were plenty of hope and hype on Krishna Poonia, Vikas Gowda and Om Prakash but realistically speaking, their best at present can only qualify them to fight at finals not win. Krishna Poonia recently thrown her best 63m but the current leading throw in world stands at 68m in women’s discuss throw. Same in case of Vikas whose best so far is 66.28m whereas 70.66m is the current world’s best in men’s discuss throw. Om Prakash best (20.69m) is far away from current leader (22.31m). if Vikas throws beyond 70m, Krishna Poonia above 65m and Om Prakash betters 22m, then there are some chances for podium finish. Seema Antil, the other contingent in women’s discuss throw will done best if she qualifies for finals.
In other field events such as triple and high jumps where India has representatives are closer to near impossibles in winning a medal. Sahana Kumari and Ranjith Maheswary both already realistically said that their aim is beat their personal best and hope for finish in top 10.
Track & Road Events – Nothing more than pride in participation
Just look out for Indian contingents and take pride in watching them contesting with world’s best at this sporting celebration in London. Because that’s all we can expect from our players in this category. There is a surprise hope, a prayer and a wish actually that Tintu Luka probably emulates, if possible outlays her mentor and coach P.T. Usha. Usha holds her in high regards. So, probably who knows that she might suddenly make the world heads turn on her like how P.T. Usha did in 1984 and we wish every bit for it to happen.
India can be seen in action at 3000m steeplechase (Sudha Singh), 50km walk ( Basanta Bahadur Rana), 20km (Baljinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Irfan Kolothum Thodi) walk and marathon (Ram Singh Yadav). For our players, its a great occasion to better themselves and that should be their target. Enjoy the occasion, give your ‘the best’ and try to thrill our national fans.
A medal itself requires a miracle run. So, all we can hope for is to see our players in action in athletics events as long as possible.