Ever since, Indian ace shooter Abhinav Bindra won that epic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 10 m Air rifle event, my interest in Olympics has grown even more. I soo remember the day when our National Anthem was being played at the Medal ceremony 8 years back. What a proud moment that was… Then came the 2012 London Olympics where there was no gold medal won but the Indian contingent mustered its best performance ever finishing with the total of 6 medals including 2 silver and 4 bronze..
It is that time again… 2016.. Rio Olympics… India this time around is sending its largest contingent ever at the mega event. 121 athletes will be gunning for the laurels. Some old faces….Some new, everyone is geared up for the event… But the question is can India better its previous record. And who will be the contenders on which all the eye balls will be set. Here, I am trying to asses some of the debutant who according to me need as much as attention as others… New Faces I believe are the dark horses and can yield results because they can play freely, without much tension or pressure.
I am by no means an expert or an astrologer (I guess that’s quite obvious) but I am still going to write about my view and players to look out for, for the Rio Olympics in short series that will follow.
Today, I am trying to explore the talents and expectations from AVTAR SINGH, the JUDOKA ..
The stage is set… the countdown has begun and now leaving all the negativity and controversy behind that led up to the Olympics, we should look at the brighter side…
AVTAR SINGH, JUDO
If you have a mischief kid or as they say Naughty kid, send him/her to judo classes and who knows one day you/ your kid can also represent India in the category..Well, at least for Avtar Singh that’s what exactly happened. His parents were sick and tired of his hyper activities during childhood and one day they decided to send him to Judo classes to distract his mind and to tire him … 24 Years later, Avtar Singh from Punjab became the first player since Akram Shah (2004) to represent India in Judo at Olympics.
He is also the only contender in Judo from our country.
But the grass always looks greener on the other side. Avtar and his family had to struggle a lot to reach to the place where he is today. The very fact that his parents had to break their fixed deposit to afford his ticket to Turkey to compete, says it all. The financial constraints also meant that Avtar was not able to participate in many tournaments.. He competed in just 6 events from 2015 until May 2016. But that did not let him lose his focus or determination; in fact it did the opposite. With his sheer hard work and perseverance, Avtar kept on improving his game and gained enough points to bag a quota in the 90kg to qualify for Rio Olympics. He won the Gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games. (Indeed a memorable win and an incredible moment!) The consistent performance throughout the year helped him reach the world ranking 79th, which was enough for him to confirm his ticket to Rio. But he is not just happy to be able to go to Rio but is also thinking about winning a medal. It is not going to be an easy task for Avtar, but all eyes (Especially mine) will be glued to him.
In the next part, I will introduce you all to another debutant, Jitu Rai (Shooting). Stay Tuned for more..