Thursday, August 20, 2009

One Year after Beijing Olympics

Bejing Olympics 2008 witnessed spectacular performances. There were some disappointments too. Are the Heroes of Beijing living upto their billing? Here's the scenario One year after :

Ussain Bolt, the Jamaica lightening, continues to strike. Having won 100 and 200 meter sprints with world record timings in Beijing, Bolt has now bewildered the entire world by chopping a whopping 0.11 seconds off his own world record. His incredible timing of 9.58 sec at World Championship, Berlin, has left everybody wondering where he will stop!

Another Beijing Hero, Michel Phelps, is still on top of swimmimg world, smoking and swimwear controversies notwithstanding. Earlier this month, Phelps emerged as the best player with five golds. In the next Olympics though, his stupendous feats in the pool might take beating as the World Aquatics body has decided to ban the new technology swim suites.

For Yelena Isinbayeva though, the year has been worst culminating in humiliating show at Belin, as the world record holder Pole Vaulter could not win a medal. In contrast Kenenisa Bekele goes closer to become all time great distance runner by claiming his 4th gold in 10000 m race.

For Roger Federer, 2008 was a nightmare. At Beijing, he lost in quarterfinals as also his top ranking. His stars have dramatically changed since the French Open. By winning french and wimbledon grand slams, federer has won back the top position, albeit helped by his bete noire Rafeal Nadal's injury forced absence.

Last year's Olympics threw four sporing heroes for India. how are they doing this year?

India's lone Olympics gold medalist, Abhinav Bhindra seems to have lost motivation having reached the pinnacle. After spending the entire year, basking in the glory, Bindra is reported to have gone back to shooting range, not quite sure which discipline to pursue for London games.

Indian Boxers are on course for a good show at London in 2012. Impressive performance at recently concluded world championship is certainly a positive sign. With Vijender rising to no. 2 spot in world ranking and with Ladies boxing being included in Olympics fold, India can hope for a gold through Mary Kome , the reigning world champion.

A quietly confident Saina Nehwal has been incredible this year. Although she lost in Quarterfinals of World Badminton Championships in Hyderabad, her rise to world no. 6 has been a stupendous achievement. She is truly a champion in the making.

One year after the Olympics, Indian Hockey is still languishing in doldrums. Indian team faced the ignominy of failing to qualify for Beijing. London 2012 promises to be no different unless some miracle happens.