TODAY -

Five jewels of Manipur in medal hunt at Tokyo

Free Thinker *

 Manipur Olympic Dreams 2020 Tokyo



If I am not mistaken five sports persons are representing Manipur in the Tokyo Olympics which is scheduled to start within a few days from now. We are a small group in the big Indian contingent but our presence is always felt by all and sundry.

Mary Kom is the flag bearer of the Indian Contingent in the inauguration ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, a rare honour. In a way she is leading the Indian medal campaign in Japan. Let's hope we come out with flying colors.

Manipur State Government has already declared cash prizes for the Olympics. Though we are a poor State without resources (Gadkariji knows better) we have a big heart. For the Gold medal winner, CM has promised a cash prize of 1.2 crore rupees, for Silver 1 crore, and for Bronze 75 lacs. I strongly believe that all the five participants will get these prizes.

In honor of the winners, one more thing we can do (in the absence of Curfew or Lockdown) for Gold we may declare a full day holiday to celebrate, for Silver half day holiday and for Bronze permitting to leave office early and closing the business instantly just for celebration.

The erstwhile Union Sports Minister is a friend of mine and he has been trying day in and day out his level best to send the best contingent to Tokyo. At the last moment fortunately he is promoted as a Cabinet Minister, Law & Justice. Still he is very hopeful that this time we will win medals and make the country proud. He was planning to send a huge contingent of participants and fewer officials.

Perhaps the honourable Prime Minister also does not encourage sending a huge number of officials. The number of officials is reduced considerably if not drastically. And this time more attention has been given to the players. This is a good step in the right direction.

Otherwise we normally send too many officials to take care of few players or participants. Now the Tokyo ratio is hopefully taken care of by the new incumbent. We need to see the contingents of the other advanced countries and learn from them.

Our five Tokyo sportspersons are namely MC Mary Kom (pugilist ), S Nilkanta Sharma (men's hockey), P Sushila Chanu (women's hockey), Sushila Likmabam (Judo), and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (weight lifting).

Long time back I saw a movie called "Five for Hell'' in Imphal Talkies (Rup Mahal) ; five best men are chosen for a dangerous operation, that is to steal a war document from a well guarded German Post.

The mission failed and all five could not survive. The Olympics are the most difficult games and our five players are going to face the most difficult challenges in Tokyo. Unlike the 5 gentlemen of "Five for Hell" , all our 5 participants must come back with medals in their hands.

Mirabai Chanu is a renowned weightlifter for the country now; she is a Padma Shree Awardee too; she has won many championships around the world. She is from Kakching and her near and dear ones still remember her as she used to carry heavy fire-woods when she was just a little girl; the fire woods she carried were really too heavy even for adults. Believe me she is one of our best bets in Tokyo.

Shanglakpam Nilakanta hails from Imphal East; he started playing hockey from a very early age in the locality. He is very fast and his passes are very accurate. Once he joined the Bhopal Hockey Academy, there was no looking back for him.

He was selected for the Indian team and had played many tournaments, globally. He is basically a midfield player and a key player. We have high hopes for him; Indian team depends on him, as he is the playmaker. Let us hope Indian men's hockey team brings a medal this time.

We have a fierce Judoka player, Shushila Likmabam representing India in Tokyo. She is a brilliant Judoka; she has a bright prospect as she is fearless and relentless. She was a Silver medalist of the Commonwealth Games, 2014 in 48 Kg category. Her confidence is her asset and she is a quick learner. The techniques may be a big challenge because she is in Japan where Judo is immensely popular. Let us cross our fingers.

Our other hockey gem is Pukhrambam Sushila Chanu, a brilliant player. Earlier she was the captain of the Indian women hockey team. Grand daughter of a great Polo player (Sagolkangjei player ) Pukhrambam Angangcha, Sushila plays wonderful hockey.

Though from a humble background (materially) she belongs to a proud and prestigious sports family. We salute the family. She had already played many international tournaments. She is supposed to be a great striker, but she is comfortably positioned as halfback. We believe her team has a huge chance of winning a medal.

"My name is Kom Mary Kom". She does not require any introduction. She is already an international figure like James Bond. She has won many world championships (forgotten how many); even her better half can't remember the number of medals she has won so far. She is also now an honorable Member of the Upper House of Parliament. Her only dream left is to win the Olympic Gold. Let us pray she fulfils her dream this time in Tokyo.

Somewhere in 'The Alchemist' of Paulo Coelho-when you genuinely desire something from your heart, cosmos conspires in helping you to achieve it.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on July 23 2021.



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