So far, the eighteen pan-Asian games have been unique in their sense.
Some athletes, teams, disciplines, and moments have stood out over the first part of the games. Be it Dushyant, who won the Bronze in Rowing despite being ill or Lin Dan, who won his fifth Asiad Gold without even playing a single match; the 2018 games have thrown a lot towards the fans.
Plenty in the Indian contingent has been making the news for the right reasons, as well. Unfortunately, there are also those who have been doing so for the exact opposite reasons. One of those units, which featured negatively over the past nine days has been Minimol Abraham-led Women’s Volleyball team.
On August 27, the Indian Women’s Volleyball team exited the competition without winning a single game. What made it even worse was the fact that the Women won just two set in their entire campaign.
The Women’s team faced a difficult proposition before the competition even began. They were drawn with China, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei, and Vietnam in a difficult Pool B.
However, what happened next was disappointing. The Women’s team lost all of their Pool matches. In fact, in Four of their Five Pool matches, the Indian Women’s team did not win even a single set!
Nevertheless, the Indian team did put up a challenge in all of those matches, with captain Abraham being the key cog in the squad.
Minimol Abraham has been around the Volleball team for a long time. She was originally selected to represent the country at the 2010 Asian Games. Eight years later, she captained the same team during the pan-Asian Games.
It was a tricky proposition for the veteran, however, to line up at the pan-Asian games. Physically she was there on the court, but her mind must have wandered off to her hometown, in Kerala. The Volleyball star hails from the state which has been ravaged by a calamity unlike any other.
Nevertheless, Abraham kept her head in the game, like the other Keralites currently competing in Indonesia. They know, that in these desperate times, seeing them succeed might even put a little smile on the faces of the people back home.
Coming back to Volleyball, things have not been easy for the Indian Women’s team over the years. They have finished a meagre Eighth and Ninth in the last two Asian Games. As it stands, the Indian team is heading towards an even lower finish.
Nevertheless, the sport has still been devoid of any attention it deserves. However, that hasn’t stopped Abraham from fighting. People have tried to put down the Indian captain throughout her life, both on and off the court.
A case occurred Six years ago when three Men dashed their motorcycle against Abraham and pushed her to the ground. The motive behind that harassment incident has still not been revealed to this day.
The Volleyball player did not stay down, however. She did everything in her power to take action against the three, only to be denied by higher authorities.
Over the past week, Abraham and her teammates walked on to the court and gave everything they can. The Indian captain led from the front, being a standout player in all the matches. Nevertheless, even she could not save the Indian team from getting beat on all five occasions.
Minimol Abraham has not won an Asiad medal in her entire career. She probably has not won many medals at all. That, however, does not mean that she is anything short of a national hero.