HUNT FOR HO NOUR
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.
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.