Thursday, 14 October 2010

Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 - A Reality Check

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As the Commonwealth Games 2010 got under way -  the problems highlighted so graphically by an unenthusiastic World Media fed by an over enhusiastic local media, slowly made way to realities on the Ground.

The verdict - The facilities, the village, the food were all upto the mark and in many cases exceptional. The hospitality was incredible as vouched for by many. The preparations were no where near as dismal as projected. The Organizers have done a good enough job - considering India's lack of experience, political bottlenecks, existing poor infrastructure, massive security concerns and a vocal democracy to which every action and spending is answerable.

Other Pluses

The security aspect of organizing such a huge event is immense. After 26/11 - India was off the lists of many casual tourists. Lets face it - India with its demographics, its proximity to Pakistan is a huge security risk. Kudos to the Home Minister for a secure game! He gets a A+++. I feel it is a huge achievement (perhaps the biggest) on the part of the Government to have delivered such a safe game with no security breeches - in Delhi - the node of India.

India actually doubled its medal count from the last games. It won one more gold than England to clinch second place! There was a lot of individual brilliance. Saina Nehwal, the Shooters who set all sorts of records, the Boxers, the Weightlifters K Ravi Kumar and Renu Bala who set Games Records, all put up a World Class show. Shows worthy of Olympics Medals.

Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games Final Medal Tally

Australia won 84 Golds in 2006, 74 Golds at Delhi
England won 36 golds in 2006, 37 Golds at Delhi
India Won 22 Golds and 50 overall medals in 2006 and 38 gold medals at Delhi.

Seen in perspective, the athletes put up a brilliant show.

Should India host the Olympics in the near future based on this?

A huge and definite NO.

India might have the infrastructure - might even be able to produce a brilliant Olympic Games - but the athletes are nowhere near the standard. Asian Games 2010 at Guangzhou will provide a reality check for the Indian athletes as they come up against the World's best from China, Japan and Korea.

There are other reasons too on why India shouldnt bid for the Olympic Games. As long as the present organisers of the IOA dont step down - India doesn't have a hope in one of getting a reasonably good games. The President of the IOA (Mr. Suresh Kalmadi) - who can't utter two sentences without uttering Sonia Ji, Young leader Rahul ji, Sonia ji again - and who has been an incumbent for 15 or more years (with around half a dozen Olympic medals which he shamelessly feels is good enough), doesnt have a hope of organising a decent Games which will make the country proud!

India's performances in popular events like Swimming, Gymnastics, athletics are pedestrian. It will continue to remain pedestrian too. Why? India has World Class facilities and coaches at just a couple of centres! A blueprint to make India a strong contender should include World class gymnastics, shooting, archery, athletics, swimming and other facilities at least 35-40 centres around the country. It is not a big task. There are classy cricket coaching centres around the country - and the results in cricket speaks for itself. The interest among the people is there. The facilities are not.

A combination of private enterprise and Government support should first ensure these facilities. The champions will develop by themselves! Strike when the iron is hot! The efforts should come immediately - to get the real advantage of hosting the Delhi 2010.

Here's hoping to a great future for India Sports

Here is what the Guardian, UK has to say about the Commonwealth Games 2010.