The popularity of a sport can be gauged from the level of expectations from players at an international outing. Our performance at the Beijing Olympics — a bronze and two quarterfinalists — popularised the sport in the country, and with a series of good performances in the Asian Games and World Championships (2009, 2011), people had hoped we would better our performance in London. Vijender Singh writes.
When I started, wrestling was not as popular a sport as it is now. It was popular in the rural areas and in villages, wrestlers used to be quite well known. Sushil Kumar
The idea was to promote sport in India. Somewhere down the line, appeasing the Union sports minister, who is also the head of the governing body of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), too became a priority, Navneet Singh reports.
Amid the clamour to celebrate India’s best-ever Olympic show, a visit to the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Bawana near New Delhi serves as a reality check. Here tomorrow’s stars live and train in conditions that at best is, well, depressing, Navneet Singh reports.
When I started out, I'd never thought that I would stand on the podium in an Olympics. I'd always dreamt about it though. I was confident of doing well at the Commonwealth and Asian Games, but an Olympic medal was a dream. Vijay Kumar
Wrestling has traditionally been India's primary sport, but it was never accorded the importance it deserved. But the performance at the London Olympics has proved that wrestling is indeed the country's top sport. Yogeshwar Dutt
I don't think we were prepared for an event as big as the Olympics. The World Championship in Turino for the men's team did not go well and we failed to book an Olympic berth. Jayanta Talukdar
I see great potential in Ashwini Ponnappa and four years is a good time for her to try out some new combinations. P Gopichand
Every time I say India’s target for the 2020 Olympic Games is 25 medals, the sceptics shudder. But not only do I stand by my statement, I would go so far as to say we might even exceed this number. Ajay Maken
We need more grassroots-level facilities like the Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan, which provides sports infrastructure and gyms in every district. Sanjoy Narayan
Now that the Olympics are over and we’ve had a week to ponder perhaps its easier to answer the question: was India’s performance disappointing or satisfactory? Karan Thapar