The decade that went by was quite a memorable one for India in the field of sports. If the decade started on a high note with India lifting the 2011 Cricket World Cup, the year that followed saw India's best-ever run in the Olympics, winning a total of 6 medals. While many high-profile players hung-up their boots, many youngsters emerged and left
a mark during what has been one of the better phase in the history of Indian sports. With sports starting to get more and more impetus from almost all the sectors in the country, here we look at some of the sports which India should prioritise during the coming decade:
Yet to win an Olympic medal in athletics
Hima Das has been the new-found love for India in athletics
The 2010s was an interesting phase for Indian athletics. While there was nothing major in athletics during the early part of the decade, the latter part saw the emergence of the likes of Neeraj Chopra, Hima Das, Dutee Chand and others. Besides, the Tokyo Olympics has a total of 48 medalled events in the category of athletics. With some extremely talented athletes in their kitty, India could rise as a superpower in the athletics, provided that they prioritise it in the coming years. After Milkha Singh, India has not produced another world record holder runner in 60 years and without academies and quality coaches, the country will remain languishing at the bottom. India is also yet to win a medal in athletics at the Olympics.
The more the players, the more the chances in swimming
L-R Virdhawal Khade, Sajan Prakash, Srihari Nataraj, Likith SP
The upcoming Tokyo Olympics will feature a total of 37 medalled events in swimming – 18 each in men's and women's and 1 mixed event. While India possesses some highly talented swimmers in the form of Virdhawal Khade, Srihari Natraj and others, the country has failed to recognise and tap into their potential. If swimming is given the attention it deserves, India could well grab at least three to four Olympic medals in swimming in the upcoming decade.
Keeping up consistency in badminton
P V Sindhu after becoming the BWF World Champion in August 2019
Badminton is one sport which India has been doing well consistently since sometime. From Saina Nehwal's bronze in the 2012 London Olympics to PV Sindhu going one better and clinching the silver in the 2016 Rio Games, India's performance in badminton has been unswerving. With many talented players still rising through the ranks, badminton has the potential to bring many more laurels to the nation in the coming ten years.
Wrestling it to top
Bajrang Punia is India's best bet in wrestling
India has bagged medals in wrestling for three consecutive editions of Olympics. While Sushil Kumar won one bronze and one silver during the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sakshi Malik added to the tally with their third place finish during the 2012 Olympics and 2016 Rio Games respectively. Also, the rapid rise of grapplers like Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia, Vinesh Phogat and others means that India would be well served in the sport during the upcoming decade. Besides, the movie Dangal has also helped a great deal in pushing the sport to prominence with a brilliant depiction of the life of Phogat sisters. With the past results and a pool of extremely talented players, wrestling is surely going to be one of those sports which takes India to the next level in the world of sports.
A new era in Boxing
Mary Kom, India's top gun in boxing
The boxing wave in India can be largely attributed to the rise of Vijender Singh and Mary Kom since the late 2000s. While, Singh won a bronze medal for the country during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Kom followed the suite four years later in London. Boxing has been on a rising curve in India since then. Though they failed miserably during the
2016 Rio Games, the Indian pugilists have come up with stellar shows elsewhere. If the recently concluded Cologne Boxing World Cup is anything to go by, boxing surely promises a lot for the 2020s.
Saurav CHaudhury and Abhishek Verma
Today, India has matured and become one of the leading nations in the world of shooting, taking one step at a time; getting a firm foothold and then moving on to the next one. Every competition is not only a valued experience for the players but an opportunity to further engrave our country's name deeper in the minds of the sporting nations worldwide.