Rio: Celebrations over, introspection begins
Mumbai: India’s cuesport legend and one of the founder members of the Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) Geet Sethi feels it is time to introspect as to what went wrong with the Indian team’s performance at the recently concluded Rio Olympics.
“We are having a board meeting of OGQ tomorrow (Thursday) to dwell upon why we did not perform at Rio as per expectations,” said Sethi at the OGQ organised function to felicitate Olympic badminton silver medallist PV Sindhu on Wednesday. Sindhu’s coach P Gopi Chand, her physiotherapist Kiran C and her father PV Ramana and mother P Vijaya were also honoured at the function.
Sethi said the organisation needs to find out if OGQ needs a change of strategy. “We will try to figure out if we can do things differently. Can we go deeper, can we go more towards the grass root level? Are we focusing too much on the top level athletes and less on the 11 to 15 age-group category? We need to take these decisions,” said the winner of six professional and three amateur World Championships.
There were 21 athletes at the Rio Games who were supported by OGQ, but only Sindhu came back with a medal. Sethi said there is a lot more that goes into the making of a champion. “Our job at OGQ is to provide a support system. While there are many organisations that are doing their bit in support- ing players including the government, ultimately a player has to perform. The responsibility of success lies with him or her,” felt Sethi.
Sethi said it was perhaps the pressure to perform that proved to be the undoing of most players. “We need to figure out how we can ensure that a player handles pressure. If our athletes can win at the world championship and at other major events, why can’t they win at the Olympics. We need to teach players how to handle pressure,” he said.
Sindhu, on her part, said she feels there is more responsibility on her than ever before. “Everyone now has huge expectations from me. This is just the beginning and I need to work harder. Olympics is something which comes once in four years. There is a lot more to do,” said the 21-year-old from Hyderabad.
Olympic silver medalist P V Sindhu and coach Gopichand being felicitated by Chess legend Viswanathan Anand (left) and cuesport great Geet Sethi (right) in the city on Wednesday