India’s dismal performance in the Olympics has raised many eyebrows, it has also put forward many questions on the kind of training and sporting facilities athletes would require in order to perform better in what is seen as the biggest sporting event on the Earth. India’s medal tally has fallen short compared to Beijing Olympics which was held in 2008 where India won one Gold and two Bronze. In comparison to the London Olympics, where India won 6 medals, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze, performance in Rio Olympics could only portray a sorrow figure.

India managed to win only two medals, Silver in Badminton by P.V Sindhu and Bronze by Sakshi Malik. Barring few athletes like Dipa Karmakar in Gymnastics who became only Indian to reach the final stage of Gymnastics arena and missed Bronze by 0.15 points, Abhinav Bindra who was well short of his best performance and ranked 4th in the 10 metre air rifle shooting and Srikanth Kadambhi in Badminton who showed the might and hunger to perform well, nothing great came from the contingent of 118 athletes which was the biggest turnout of India in the Olympics history. India finished 67th in the medal standings.

Narendra Modi congratulated P.V Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, and Dipa Karmakar and also hailed the women power in Olympics. In order to make India more competitive and escape the humiliation Narendra Modi has come up with a plan to create a task force who will be directly responsible for the performance, selections, and training of the athletes. It is also the first time anything sort of such is going to be implemented under the guidance of Prime Minister himself. Modi announced that BJP government would set up a task force to create a strategy to help sportspersons prepare for the next three Olympics to be held in 2020, 2024 and 2028 respectively. Modi made the announcement at a Cabinet meeting on Friday and said the task force would be set up in the next few days. Next two Olympics is going to be held in Tokyo and Qatar. The venue for the third Olympics will be decided through a bid which will take place in 2019.

Earlier, Gopichand, a well-known Badminton player and coach of P.V Sindhu thanked Prime Minister for his motivation and constant tweets in the middle of the Olympics. With Indian athletes failing to win a medal after 1 week at the Olympics, Modi took to the micro-blogging website Twitter to motivate the Indian Contingent.
Narendra Modi has time and again laid emphasis on the sporting events and encouraged youths to look for careers beyond the one created and driven by the market.

Skills India and Startup India is helping youth fulfil their dreams by providing them ample opportunity as well as resources in the form of rebates, tax-less and infrastructural support. Whether India will perform better or not in the coming Olympics could only be seen to be believed but the far-sightedness of Modi should be praised and if implemented well, India would be no novice in the sporting arena. India can take an inspiration from China which mostly acquired the place in the bottom list but due to special programs designed only to create an Olympians and bring glory to the country have been able to find a place in the top 3 in the past 5 Olympics.

Contributor: Shivaji Singh