Going off track

V.K. Malhotra, another character in this saga, presides over archery. There is much to be done here before the next quadrennial, from finding a competent national coach to the more delicate matter of restoring Deepika Kumari's confidence after London.

Abhay Chautala, who aimed at the IOA's high seat after being the boxing boss for years, can claim the credit of having sent an unprecedented eight boxers to London, but only Mary Kom returned with a medal. While the heavyweight administrator has a fight on his hands, quelling the big suits at the International Boxing Association who have suspended the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation, the more long-term worry for the sport ought to lie elsewhere. How to help Vijender Singh move a weight category up, for instance, or how best to ensure that the talented Vikas Krishan and Shiva Thapa rediscover their pre-London magic?

Both Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt's wrestling medals could be called a culmination of two eight-year-long dreams. But there should be plans in place for the likes of Amit Kumar and Narsingh Yadav. Badminton doubles need more attention and a dedicated coach, and there must be a suitable replacement for David John, the backroom man with the envious work ethic in hockey.

Most pertinently, it remains to be seen whether government funding in the next two years matches the amounts allotted right after 2008, when Indian athletes benefited from the country's enthusiastic preparations for the Commonwealth Games. The IOA must clean up its mess before the next IOC meeting in February. The real question is whether Indian athletes will be ready before the Commonwealth and Asian Games, set to take place in two years' time.


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