London Olympics-2012: The Best Ever Haul For India!
The largest ever contingent from India to the London Olympics-2012 achieved the best ever haul of medals for the country. The quest for an elusive Gold medal remained unfulfilled, but India won 6 medals including 2 silver and 4 bronze which is double to that of 3 medals including 1 gold and 2 bronze achieved in the Beijing Olympics-2008. The Indian wrestlers provided the final boost to take the Indian tally to six.
The desperate wait for a gold medal continued till the last hours of the London Olympics. Hopes were pinned on the Indian wrestler in 66kg freestyle category, Sushil Kumar who was scheduled to play his bouts on the final day of the Olympics that is the 12th of August, 2012. He defeated his Turkish rival—the gold medalist in the 2008 Olympics— after an engaging fight in the first bout and entered the quarterfinals. The most electric countdown began in India for a medal—hopefully the gold.
In the quarterfinals Sushil Kumar overcame a tough rally from his Uzbek rival to move into the semifinals. It was again a close fight in the semifinals, but Sushil finally prevailed over his Kazakh rival in the last round and entered the finals—the first Indian player to do so in the London Olympics. Now a silver medal was assured and a gold medal hope was very close to reality.
Sushil Kumar, reportedly suffering from a stomach upset and dehydration, failed to match his Japanese rival in the final and the gold medal hunt was lost for this Olympics. But Sushil Kumar made history by becoming the only Indian to bag two individual medals in Olympics. He won his first medal that was a bronze in Beijing in 2008.
Indian people and governments have been celebrating the best ever Olympic medal tally and not taking the colors of the medals seriously. The celebrations had begun earlier when Gagan Narang gave India the first medal of London Olympics. And then at the grand climax the six heroes have been welcomed all over and huge cash awards announced for all of them. But the euphoria must last longer than the London Olympics.Continued on the next page