9th Aug 2021 11:08:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

As the Tokyo Olympics successfully closed on Sunday, August 8, what an extraordinary event it had been in every sense of the word. An unrelenting global pandemic saw the world’s biggest sporting event being pushed back by at least a year from its scheduled 2020 calendar with doubts rife if the games will even be able to go ahead as planned. Tokyo Olympics will go down in history for being an example of hope and tenacity; for giving India its first Olympic gold medal in athletics and India registering its highest ranking in over four decades with a total of 7 medals finishing 48th on the medal tally.
A country of a billion people shared moments of euphoria and heartbreak every step of the way as our sportspersons put on their best at Tokyo. However as the celebrations die down in the next few weeks,  the country needs to introspect about sports— its present and future.
Each time our athletes fared well at the Olympics, there was a section attempting to take the credit. However, truth be told Indian sportspersons unlike their counterparts across the world, have to deal with the harsh reality of a rudimentary sports environment and slack government support.
India’s javelin throw coach Uwe Hohn, the coach behind Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra in June this year had said that the country’s top sports organisations — Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) — “did not do enough” to prepare athletes for the mega event. He said training for the Olympics was unplanned and diet was not fit for elite athletes. His interview speaks volumes about the prevailing environment against which sportspersons have to survive. Indian athletes not only have to fight their opponents but they have to fight politics and corruption too.
The Indian hockey team- both men & women performed exceptionally well at Tokyo. It was surreal to see a Cricket-crazy nation suddenly rooting for our hockey players. The story of India’s hockey team shows the level of despair players have to endure to play for their country. After Sahara’s exit in 2018, the hockey teams were left without any sponsor. Had it not been the Odisha government who signed a Rs 150 crore deal with Hockey India to sponsor the men’s and women’s hockey teams over the next 5 years, the story would have been quite different.
The countdown has already begun for the next Olympics at Paris in 2024. The government must work to ensure that sports and sportspersons are given the required facilities. Simply expecting our players to bring home medals is quite unfair.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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