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Opinion: India should look beyond 'British Empire Games' to achieve greatness in sport

Closing Ceremony Photograph: (PTI)

WION Web Team Gold Coast QLD, Australia Apr 16, 2018, 06.03 PM (IST) Rustam Roy

India may have finished 3rd in the 21st Commonwealth Games but it finished way behind hosts Australia who seized 80 gold medals bagging 198 medals to finish on top.

The Commonwealth though does not have a "world standing" since only countries who were once the colony of Her Majesty take part in the event, there is, of course, no China or US to threaten the top contenders.

The Commonwealth Games actually came into existence in the 1930s, it was aptly titled "British Empire Games", post-1950 it was called  British Empire and Commonwealth Games, later in the 1970s British Empire was dropped and it was called "Commonwealth Games".

The former "colonies" take great pride in participating in the Games. There are over 70 countries which participate in the Games.

India, Australia and England mostly top the medals tally in most games, however, a look at India's performance in the Olympics is an altogether different story.

The Indian contingent is happy with 26 golds with sports analysts calling it a "gold rush" and gushing over how the team has topped its previous tally at Glasgow. However, in the rush to prove its credentials it must be noted that the Indian hockey team - both men & women- failed to win a single medal.

Commonwealth Games: India finish third with 26 gold medals

In shooting, India has been faring poorly against the Chinese at the Olympics(barring Abhinav Bindra's gold medal exploits at London in 2008).

With just two years to go for the Olympics in Russia, India must get over its "gold haze" quickly if it wants to challenge the best in the world.

A point to be noted: India's total medals tally is 66, Australia meanwhile has won 80 golds in all, a startling fact which best exemplifies how far the Indian team has fallen behind in world sports.

Add to this 2 Indian athletes were embroiled in the "no needle" policy and were sent back home embarrassing the Indian contingent.

It is time India looks beyond "Commonwealth" and devises a policy to win at the "real" game because the Empire no longer exists and the sun has set over the British long time ago, Brexit notwithstanding!

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)

 

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