In one of my earlier articles I had talked about the reasons why India is not dominating the world of sports. I talked about things like our sports committees, our apathy towards the athletes and many other things. But one question which always pops us in my mind is whether Indian athletes are really good enough to compete in international stage? NO!
Occasionally we see an Indian athlete creating a furore in the international arena, only to fade to fade away after a certain time. Krishna Poonia is one such athlete who made headlines in 2010 commonwealth games by winning gold in discus throw, but slowly faded away from the scene in later years. Why does this happen? Many factors are involved here. The international athletics arena is an ever evolving scene. Rarely do we find the same set of athletes reigning as champions for a long time. Things keep on changing quite. But one thing we always see is that all these are from same group of countries: Jamaica, USA, Australia, Germany,etc. What is different between their athletes and ours?
The main difference is the training. In our country you don’t get to meet a proper athletics trainer till you become national level champion. Till then you are on your own. You have no one to teach you techniques or guide you. You have struggle on your own. Compare it to the developed countries, the whole scenario is completely different. They have experienced and knowledgeable coaches even at school level. If they see even a little bit of talent in you, you are guided by these coaches. This thing is makes the Indian athletes lag behind the others. If interviewed, they would tell that they started getting professional coaching only a few years before the competition.
Plus many of the actual talents get lost in whole hum-drum of politics. India is one country which has got politicians in every vein of its. I wouldn’t be surprised if I found out a bloody politician climbing out of my toilet, that is the reach they have. Genuine talents are overlooked because these politicians decide that their sons, daughters, nieces and nephews are more talented. Some might be but generally they are utter crap. This also leads to the dilution of Indian athletic power.
The other reason why I am concluding that Indian athletes are not up to the mark is lack of common knowledge about athletics. Track running to many of us just running in a straight line or in a circle. How many of us really know about the effect the aerodynamics of the body has or the advantage of running on your toes? These are the kind of data which are fed to foreign athletes on regular intervals by their analytical team. Half of our athletes don’t even have an idea that such thing exists.
But there is one athletics team which always makes me think that my conclusion might be wrong. It’s the Indian women’s relay track team. They have been so consistent for the last few years, reaching the finals of all the major events they have taken part in. But as they say every rule has an exception, I guess this is the exception for my theory.