Wednesday, February 14, 2007

National Games - Whats That?

Whats the medal tally at the National Games?
What games?
The National Games
Whats that?

That is the conversation i had with a friend recently. And not surprisingly he had no clue what National Games are. The only reason he could recollect hearing something about them was because ULFA had threatened to joepardize the games.

That sums up the buzz around - National Games.

So, i went ahead and did a small quiz for myself:

  • Who is the fastest man in India (100 m winner)?

  • Who is the fastest woman in India (1oo m winner)?

  • Which state won the highest number of medals in last National Games?

  • Which state is the number one in Athletics?

  • Where were the last National Games held?

  • Which states have the top honours in National Games at presnt?

Well i could answer only one of the questions (one about the number one state in Athletics) - Kerala - that too is only a guess work, and i am not sure if its correct (probably is). Do you guys know these answers - i would like to hear and learn!

Some quick stats:

  • This is the 33rd National Games (in progress in Guawahati).

  • Manipur is at the top of Medals Tally at present (surprise to me !!!).

  • 'Services' participates and competes with states too. (Why? Well... its not obvious to me).

  • There is a website for this:

  • Rongmon (a one horned rhino) is the Mascot for the games. (See the Pic. Courtesy: National Games Website mentioned above. Folks pls make the rhino a little cuter :). )

  • See the Latest Medal Tally Here.

  • 32nd National Games were held in Hyderabad (2002)

  • 31st National Games were held in Ludhiana (2001)

  • 30th National Games were held in ???? (???)

  • 29th National Games were held in Bangalore (1996)

From last few stats you can make out - that apparently the games are not really held at regular intervals. So, who is deciding when to hold them - is it random? some Ministers fancy? a political parties will? What is it really.

OK, enough of statistics, now some observations:

  • It seems Cricket is the only sport played in India. However hard i tried, there was almost ZERO news about the National Games in any media - except ofcourse Doordarshan - which i found was dutifully reporting the progress of Games. Thankyou DD - we appreciate this gesture. Shame on rest of Sensation Hungry Media.

  • Why didn't the govt. (which apparently spends a huge some of money on these sports) popularize these events. If foreign companies can come to India and sell exotic chocolates, juices and what-not -- whats wrong with Sports Ministry - where are your advertisements ? Buzz generation efforts? I don't remember seeing much of it.

  • There are hardly any sponsorers for these games - NOT SURPRISING - given the previous facts.

  • In many many events i watched - i heard the commentator repeat this - This is a good line up, but we do not have the number 1, 2 and 3 player of the country here. (well... i don't blame the sportsment at all).

  • The quality of telecast was pretty bad - at the 400 m athletics event for men, the camera was focussed on the Finish Line for all the last 10 seconds, waiting for the athletes to appear at the finish line. Thats quite poor boss... we want to see the athletes running too!!!

Are we serious about medal hunts at Olympics or is it reduced to a 4-yearly ritual? I read somewhere - Not Planning for success is equivalent to planning for failure.


At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not National Games- it is a national joke! No media coverage at all. No box scores. Nothing.

And the official Web site is another joke. Even a high school kid can do better job of designing the site let alone all the IT talent of Infosys and TCS and WIPRO.

How about content. Disgraceful. You can find absolutely nothing meaningful, not even the results. It is no wonder India always has such a poor showing at the Olympics.

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous silkboard said...

The funny thing is, the games were started with the intention of promoting sports. And now they are rarely organized on schedule. They are used more as a medium to pull sarkaari investments (roads, housing, stadiums) in a city.

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Musings on India said...

great post as always. well researched and backed with facts. the quote on planning is very apt but i doubt if our government can spell that word correctly. :-)

btw how does one embed links in posts?

At 7:34 PM, Blogger Ashish said...

Great post. There is almost no coverage, and even if there is a mention in the sports page, get a good cricket match, and see how the national games go away.
Sports in India (apart from cricket) suffer from a total mis-administration, and not much effort made to use these as a good breeding ground for building world class sports-person.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Giri said...

couldn't help laughing at
"quality of focussed on the finish line for 10 seconds"..

At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well the 30th national games were held in manipur and as per this site they were actually the 5th modern national games.

So there have been just 8 such events since inaugration in New Delhi in 85.

The problem with ill scheduling of the games lies with declaring it in a state by IOC even if the state is not prepared for it.

This happened in 92 in Punjab, again in Guwahati in 07 and now in Ranchi that the games have not been started on time.

But has the IOC learnt any lesson??


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