A wrestler from ru­ral Haryana. A mother of twins from Ma­nipur. A young woman archer player who suf­fered an ac­ci­den­tal gun­shot wound. In­dia’s best bets at the Lon­don Olym From a Jhark­hand vil­lage. A hockey pics have come up the hard way.

India Today - - SPORTS - By R. Pallavi and San­hita Sinha Chowd­hury

Ben John­son tears through the tape at the fin­ish line of the 100m dash at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, bril­liant sun­shine il­lu­mi­nat­ing his face; Michael Phelps glides across a pool to emerge in a shim­mer of drops, tri­umphant at the 2008 Bei­jing Olympics; 14- year- old Na­dia Comãneci whirls and twirls flaw­lessly around the un­even bars to get a per­fect 10 at the 1976 Montreal Games; Le­an­der Paes stands proud on the podium af­ter win­ning an Olympic bronze for In­dia at the 1996 Games in At­lanta. Sport­ing his­tory is made of such mo­ments of truth. At the 2012 Olympic Games in Lon­don, In­dia hopes to add to the record books. Fi­nally. Our podium fin­ishes have been few. In sports such as swim­ming, gym­nas­tics and men’s ath­let­ics, In­dia is not even a blip on the hori­zon. Will the boys with the golden sticks ful­fil In­dia’s medal dreams? Will the wrestlers from Haryana and the shoot­ers wrest our hon­our? Will the girls from the archery team give new mean­ing to an an­cient men’s sport? Since we be­gan send­ing com­peti­tors to the Games in 1948, we have won a mere 20 medals. The roll of hon­our has been all too short. The mem­o­ries are prac­ti­cally non- ex­is­tent. The na­tion hopes to ban­ish the ghosts of past fail­ures as Team In­dia aims to bring home the yel­low metal. Here’s a look at the men and women In­dia is count­ing on.

VIKRAM SHARMA/ www. in­di­a­to­day­im­ages. com

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