TODAY -

India at Incheon 2014 Asian Games

Syed Abdul Samad *

Incheon 2014 Asian Games Logo
Incheon 2014 Asian Games :: Pix - Wikipedia



The second most popular games on earth just after the Olympics came to an end with the gala closing ceremony amidst controversies at Incheon. India with 57 medals (11 gold, 10 silver and 36 bronze medals) could not prosper beyond 8th rank. The performances have gone down from 6th rank in the 2010 Asiad to 8th rank in the 2014 Asiad.

We have witnessed almost the similar trend in Commonwealth Games too which declined from 2nd rank in 2010 to 5th rank in 2014. Such unhealthy development is absolutely uncalled for and is a matter of serious concern for the sporting fraternity thereby putting India’s reputation at stake.

With one more gold India could have easily bagged 6th position. At the present pace, potentiality and scope India could attain the dream position of 4th rank behind all time greats China, South Korea and Japan. There is a huge gap between the top three and India. So, India cannot think of the top three slots as of now.

In this Asiad India failed to convert most of its medals into gold rather had to contend with bronze as India amassed 36 bronze medals which is the fourth highest. India is joined 5th with Iran in terms of total number of medals but Iran bagged 5th position in terms of gold medals which is decisive in ranking system. Here is an analysis of India’s performance in various disciplines.

India participated in 28 sporting disciplines out of 36. Performances have shown a declining trend from 2nd rank in the inaugural Asiad 1951, 3rd in 1962, 5th in 1982 to 8th in 2014. The 1990 games being the only instance when Indian remained out of top 10. India won medals in the following events:

1. Athletics

Quite unexpectantly, India performed well in the track and field events with as many as 13 medals ( 2 gold , 4 silver and 7 bronze medals). Seema Poonia, from Sonepat, Haryana, created history by winning the gold in women’s discuss throw. Another gold came from women’s 4 x 400 metres relay. A commendable performance indeed, and is emerging as the fastest discipline from India to be reckoned with.

2. Kabaddi

As expected India won both the gold medals but India should be careful in future with the popularity and spread of the game. Thanks to the World Kabaddi League. It may be a blessing in disguise. India is not contended with only the Asiad gold but Olympic gold is the ultimate mission. So, the quest could be achieved only through inclusion of the game in the Olympics.

3. Squash

A total of four medals just behind Asian giant Malaysia (5). One gold, two silver and one bronze is by no means a big achievement in Asia. Nicol David once again proved herself as the ‘Queen of Squash’ by defending the title. With hard work and determination India would be able to dethrone Malaysia as the ‘squash giant’ in Asia as Pakistan’s performance have also faded.

4. Shooting

Jitu Rai, a Sikkimese guy hogged the limelight by winning India’s lone gold and that’s the only success story amidst star studded shooting contingent. The overall performance is disappointing as India bagged only nine medals compared to China’s fifty in shooting. Even Olympic star Abhinav Bindra had to settle for a bronze which is much below the gold winning performance of London Olympics.

5. Tennis

India could manage only one gold which came from the mixed doubles team. Chinese Taipei is fast developing as No. 1 in Asia. However India could attain the top spot in tennis in due course of time. Sania Mirza and Saketh Myneni won two medals each.

6. Wrestling

India won 5 medals including the lone gold from none other than Olympic hero Yogeshwar Dutt. It is far below performance for the country keeping in view of the potential and prospects of the game. Iran dominated the arena with 12 medals. Probably, this is the only discipline where all the Central Asian republics got at least one medal.

7. Archery

An average performance with four medals which is dominated by the Asian giant South Korea (9 medals). The only gold came from Men’s team compound event But the country has huge potential and scope for improvement. Young talents like Trisha Deb and Deepika Kumari could take India to new heights of glory.

8. Boxing

The discipline heralded with controversies. Pugilists from India, Philippines and Mongolia were not happy and complained about the new scoring system which reportedly have favoured the host nation. There has been reports of favouritism which created ripples in the media. Our own L. Sarita Devi and L. Devendro Singh became victim to it. On the other hand Central Asian pugilists have done well and they are emerging as one of the potent force to be reckoned with after the fall of Cuba.

Kazakhstan (10 medals) dominated the ring and undoubtedly reclaimed as the ‘ Boxing giant’. India bagged five medals with the lone gold from none other than our ‘Super mom’ MC Mary Kom thereby creating history after the 1998 gold of Dingko Singh. India’s performance is far below performance in spite of the presence of Vejender and Devendro.

9. Hockey

Probably one of the best performances by Indian hockey so far. Men’s team won gold and women’s team won bronze. The same spirit and momentum should continue upto Olympics.

10. Rowing

India could manage only three bronze medals compared to nine golds of China. So, long way to go for the rowing team.

11. Wushu

A very disappointing performance compared to last Asian games as India could bag only two medals in the form of bronze coming from L Sanathoi Devi and Narender Grewal. Star players like Bimoljit and Sandhyarani returned empty handed. Although it is not an Olympic discipline India has to take sriously since 52 medals are at stake in this discipline. With more expertise, determination and hard work India could notch up 2nd rank as China has a lion’s share in Wushu.

12. Badminton

Again much below performance wherein India managed only one bronze in otherwise star studded contingent comprising of Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, PC Thulasi, P. Kashyap, Gurusai Datt. The lone bronze came from women’s team event. China totally dominated the court with nine medals but India has the potentiality and prospect of securing at least 4th rank.

13. Sailing: With only one bronze medal India could not make any significant mark in this event.

14. Swimming: Out of 114 medals India managed only one medal while China dominated the pool with 45 medals. Kosuke Hagino created Asian record by winning 7 medals. The lone medal came from Sandeep Sejwal. India has a long way to go and really need to work hard as swimming and other aquatic events forms the highest number of medals both in Olympics and Asian Games.

Besides the above mentioned events India also participated in other events like- weightlifting, judo, volleyball, taekwondo, sepak takraw, handball, golf, gymnastics, football, equestrian, cycling, canoeing, basketball and fencing. But, none of these could fetch any medal. The only hope was in weightlifting and judo but both fumbled at the end. The weightlifters could not repeat the Commonwealth games magic.

Undoubtedly, the level of competition is very high in Asian Games but the Country really need to work hard in order to have a say in the sporting world. True sporting spirit has to be cultivated not only among sportspersons but also among every sections of the society. Adequate infrastructure, mutual understanding between coach and sportsperson, tapping the talent at right time, red tapism, regionalism etc. are some of the areas which needs to be addressed urgently.

However , good news is that a Sports University would be established in Manipur which would open more avenues and scope for exploring and developing talents so as to enable sportspersons for winning as much medals for the country.


* Syed Abdul Samad, MPS wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is presently working as Dy. SP in CID(SB) (Dy.Superintendent Of Police, Manipur Police Service)
This article was posted on October 20, 2014.


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