Rio: Cel­e­bra­tions over, in­tro­spec­tion be­gins

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES SPORT - Shailen­[email protected] times­

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

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