Evening Standard

We may not want to shed many tears as Australia suffers with only one gold. But, if you have any tears to spare, save them for the Indian athletes. India, a culturally rich country, is a sporting midget – apart from cricket. Since it began competing in 1900, the world’s second most populous country, largest democracy and the ninth largest economy has won a grand total of 23 medals, nearly half in hockey. It was only in Beijing that India won its first individual gold courtesy of shooter, Abhinav Bindra. London is unlikely to provide even that solace and the three medals so far means the ratio of medals won to population is 1:407 million.

This is despite the millions poured into Indian sport by Britain’s richest man Lakshmi Mittal. The causes of this failure are endlessly analysed by Indian sociologists but I am convinced one reason is the appalling leadership. This was vividly demonstrated at a reception just before the Games when the visiting Indian sports minister proudly announced that coaches who did well would get jobs as civil servants. Can you imagine Hugh Robertson thinking that this would motivate the coaches who guide Jessica Ennis and Co? Given such twisted thinking, is it any wonder the Indians fail?


Share |
Categories: Olympics | 2 Comments »



Latest Tweets

Follow me on twitter

Home | About | Books | History | BroadcastingJournalismPublic Speaking | Contact | Website development by Pedalo