From the year 1900, in which India participated for the first time, till this date in history, we have bagged 28 medals in the esteemed Summer Olympic Games. We have proved to be dominant in the game of Hockey. Our legends, Dhyan Chand and Balwant Singh have won 11 medals for the country, which is beyond anyone’s figment of imagination. While the first medal of Olympics won by India in 1900 was a controversial topic of debate, we would like to acknowledge and treasure the moments in which our fellow sports players have splendidly filled our hearts with gratitude and pride.
Over the years, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has been trying to introduce new sports to young and promising talents, to be able to plant our Tiranga in all diverse categories of sports in the Summer Olympics. With their constant efforts, today, India has participated and excelled in discrete and exceptional games like Shooting, Athletics, Wrestling, Badminton, Boxing, Tennis, Weightlifting and so on. From Karnam Malleshwari to Sakshi Malik, there are out-of-the-box talents that are explored. But the irony is that India’s diversity not just lies in its culture but also in its people’s artistry. While the performance in the mentioned sports is highly commendable, have you wondered which are the stones that are yet to be turned by India? Here is a list of sports in which we all want India to debut…
Volleyball has been played in India for a very long time. Be it in Goa beaches, any inter-school competitions, or a beachy Bollywood film, you will always hear someone say “you can’t beat me”.
The Volleyball Federation of India was brought into being in the year 1951, which was 13 years prior to the launch of Volleyball in the Olympics 1964, and yet we have not seen any medals come our way. Well, we are very excited to inform you that India has been an extremely tough competitor at the Asian Volleyball Championships since the kick-off time, and has brought home significant achievements.
While India raised great hopes and prospects for debuting in the Summer Games after winning gold medals in Men and Women Volleyball at South Asian Games 2019, persistent loss against Qatar and South Korea disqualified the team from making it to Tokyo Olympics 2020.
The concept of Rugby was introduced in India in the year 1872, hence it has never been peculiar per say. However, 15-a-side Rugby has been replaced by Rugby Sevens, which is technically new. While Rugby is said to be a minor sport in India, it is also perceived as one of the fast growing sports.
Tracing back to 2010 Commonwealth Games wherein India was the host country, we did make a great attempt to mark a tick on Rugby Sevens, however due to immense competition the team came fourth after New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
While there are constant efforts that are made to establish in this sport, there are some notable achievements like the 2019 Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy. In this scenario, we have to believe in the concept of ‘slow and steady wins the race’ and look forward to more medals with greater optimism.
Taekwondo was introduced in India in the 1960’s by Puran Andrew Gurung, the Father of Taekwondo, whereas it was introduced in Olympics in the year 2000 in Sydney for the first time. Doesn’t it sound strange that it's the third sport till now which was introduced long back and yet has failed to leave a mark? We can certainly analyse the ignorance that has cost so many medals to the country.
This Korean-originated sport is considered to be one of the most popular and promising martial arts in India. The Taekwondo Federation of India has made significant efforts in forming alliances with the World Taekwondo Federation, Asian Taekwondo Union and the Indian Olympic Association.
Though the pace is slow, constant efforts are made to encourage youngsters to be a part of this sport. We shall cross our fingers and wait for the good news till then.
Handball and Handball Federation of India was founded by the immensely talented player Mr. Jagat Singh Lohan nearly 50 years ago. Handball is a popular sport in India which is widely played at local level but is yet to make a mark at the domestic level.
Gradually, the Handball Federation of India became an ally of Asian Handbal
l Federation (AHF), International Handball Federation (IHF), the Commonwealth Handball Association and the South Asian Handball Federation. The allies are extremely important as they allow the country to participate in different international games and it also gets a chance to host.
After constant hardwork and a lot of ups and downs, the men’s team secured a silver medal and women’s team secured a gold medal in the 2019 South Asian Games. While we are as proud as punch to celebrate this news, India is yet to embark its first footprint in the Olympics game.
As we come down to the last sport on our list, we pick the sport that is little-known and unheard of. Fencing is a 3 sword/weapon sport which is considered to be the 2nd fastest moving object in all sports after shooting, though it is still debatable. Fencing Association of India (FAI) was established in 1974, however, this sport was recognised by the government only in 1997. Strange, right? The government should be encouraging more sports to make India an all dimension sports balanced country.
FAI is well recognized by the Indian Olympic Association as one of its National Sports Association Members. Fencing became a part of the Olympics in the year 1896 and in all these years, India was not able to represent itself in that sport. But the good news is that a new talent, Bhavani Devi, has planted seeds of hope and expectation with Fencing Olympic Games.
This 26 year-old Tamil Nadu girl has turned the tables after winning her first gold medal at the 2017 Tournoi Satellite Fencing Championship that was held in Iceland. She is not only the first Indian fencer to win a gold medal at an international tournament but also the only Indian fencer to ever qualify for Olympics (in the year 2020). We wish her all the best, she will surely make us proud.
India is well known for Cricket more than any other sport. The viewers and supporters were very stubborn in the early times but now, the stigma has been shattered and other sports have been given considerate attention, if not equal. As per our analysis, there has been a steady growth in all the sports over the years, but the returns on the time and effort invested is yet to be received.
Tokyo Olympics 2020 is going to be widely celebrated. 74 Indians have been qualified for the Olympics so far in seven categories of sports:
While we wait for more to be added in the list, we also pray for some debuts to occur. Go Beyond Sports wishes all the best to all the talented qualified players in advance. Whether you win or not, our support and optimism will never stop!