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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    August 30, 2004

    The Athens 2004 Olympics came to an end yesterday. India, found itself at joint 66th spot, a marginal improvement over Sydney 2000 where we were 70th - well short of the initial predictions on how this was the best Indian contingent ever and PWC's 10 medal prediction! China's sporting prowess was exhibited in full flow at Athens where they led the US on golds tally till the track & field events began. Even there, Liu Xiang won the men's 110m hurdles. They ended up at #2 in terms of golds and #3 in terms of overall medals.

    I think India's problem lies in the fact that between the 1960s and the 1980s when it shamelessly copied the Soviet model of life & politics [except perhaps having a democracy], we didnt copy their sports model. The Soviet model got exported to much of East Europe and we've seen for a while how Hungary, Romania along with the countries that used to form the USSR like Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia etc. continue to produce great gymnasts, jumpers [high and long], throwers, wrestlers etc.

    Instead, the only time Indian athletes go to former Soviet (or Eastern) bloc countries is when they need to "get fit" before a major tournament - the Olympics, World Championships or the Asian Games. Of course, we continue to hire coaches from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus etc. who will connive with the officials and the players to "enhance" their performances. We'll continue to have national records set in various events held in India. Yet, these same athletes will perform at 75% of those numbers when it comes to the Olympics and marginally better during the Asian Games. Perhaps its time for India to force China out of the Asian Games. They're so bloody much better than the rest, whats the point in them stamping out all competition.

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