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Great Indian excuses resurface after Athens

Anjali had stiff muscles, Binu ran with wrong spikes, Malleswari had a back problem and Suma Shirur was done in by a mental block.
PTI | By Biswajyoti Brahma (PTI), New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 30, 2004 06:52 PM IST

If Anjali Bhagwat had stiff muscles, KM Binu ran with wrong spikes, Karnam Malleswari suffered a last-minute back problem and Suma Shirur was done in by a mental block!

The exceptions were heptathlete JJ Shobha, who braved excruciating pain to finish the event at 11th place, and tennis stars Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes.

There seemed to be no end to the excuses given by Indian athletes for their shoddy performance at yet another Olympics that ended last night in Athens.

Whether these were genuine reasons for their failure, only the athletes can tell. But one thing is for sure, they have got readymade excuses for every failure and it appears to come to them naturally.

The trend started soon after the beginning of the Games on August 13 when medal hope N Kunjarani Devi failed to finish on the podium in her weightlifting event and quickyly put the blame on a tough field.

"I had come with a lot of hope. Nobody comes here if he or she did not believe winning a medal. But the standards in the Olympics are very high," she said after finishing fourth.

Sydney bronze medallist Malleswari chose a safe way -- a sudden back pain -- to answer a flurry of questions over her failure to complete even the first lift in the 63-kg category.

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