India 8th in Asia Games

Doha, Dec 16: The ending could not have been more disappointing as the second most populated nation in the world, India finished eighth – a slot behind impoverished and struggling Uzbekistan – with just 10 gold (overall total 54) medals to show in the 15th Asian Games which concluded here yesterday.

One of the most enduring mysteries of the Indian contingent for this Asiad was its size. Till the end no official was able to tell how many sportspersons came here to represent the country.

India was everywhere and still no where, they were untraceable in some disciplines and sank without trace in others and then were found here, there and somewhere.

It did no good to India’s reputation, a country which is hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games and is bidding for 2014 Asian Games, to come out with such a performance.

India won more medals here (54) then in the last edition of the Games at Busan (36) but they won less gold this time – 10 compared to 11 last time – and the country’s performance in key disciplines – athletics, hockey, shooting, golf, was disappointing.

India’s final tally here is 10 gold, 18 silver and 26 bronze but barring three golds in tennis and athletics, all other came in non-Olympic disciplines including three in shooting.

It was left to shooter Jaspal Rana, chess grandmaster Koneru Humpy, cue star Pankaj Advani, tennis trio of Leander Peas, Mahesh Bhupathi, Sania Mirza, women (4x400) relay quartet and the kabaddi team to save the country blushes as most of the other sportspersons played a cruel joke with the sentiments of the millions of sports loving supporters back home and abroad.

The over 350-strong (exact numbers not known) contingent which took part in more than 28 disciplines was reduced to the ‘also ran’ category at the continent’s biggest sporting arena. Display by most of them did not even merit mention in any local paper or TV shows beamed all over the world.

The assertion of the sports officials before the start of the Games that India will better its Busan Games gold performance became a butt of joke and ridicule as the games progressed.

It was ironic that the doping menace cast its shadow on the Indian contingent here also but they were lucky that the report about Seema Antil testing positive was not released here and the athlete did not come to participate.

The much hyped hockey team turned out to be total disaster and judo, table tennis, badminton, swimming, sepaktakraw, pin bowling, rugby, wushu, taekwando, canoe/kayaking added merely to the numbers.

Men’s hockey was a disaster waiting to happen as India lost to China and for the first time ever in the games history failed to qualify for the semi-finals and in the process also failed to directly qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They will have to go through the qualification tournament to get a place in the Beijing Games.

Bureau Report

But the Indian Women did manage to win the 4x400m relay in 3:32

Japan won silver in the 4x100

Indian Women

you sure about that. :frowning:

Nope, some Indian “woman” was called for allegedly failing a sex test. But “she” was in the 800m. Poor girl. I didn’t think they had sex tests anymore.

if they are running 3:32 they better be all girls.

Indian silver medallist trips over sex-test hurdle

Manish Kumar
Sunday, December 17, 2006 23:40 IST

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NEW DELHI: Santhi Soundarajan, an Indian woman athlete who was found lacking the ‘sexual characteristics of a woman’ during a medical test at the Doha Asian Games, had apparently failed a similar test in India.

DNA learnt on Sunday that the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had cleared Santhi, despite the findings, to represent the country in the 800m race. She may be stripped of her silver medal.

The sex test Santhi underwent was banned some eight years ago by the International Olympic Committee. But there is a provision to carry out the test in special circumstances — if there are strong grounds for suspecting an athlete, or if a participant country lodges a protest. “Santhi was asked to take the test,” an AFI official said.

An athletics selector said officials knew before the competition that Santhi had been denied a job in the Railways on similar grounds. “But a powerful vice-president of the AFI, who was also on a doping investigation panel in 2005, was trying to help her,” the selector said.

The selector said some officials suspected another woman athlete on the Games squad to have dodgy gender credentials — but she wasn’t caught. This athlete too went on to win a medal.

AFI secretary-general Lalit Bhanot said, “It is a sensitive issue and I can’t react before I receive official intimation.”