India and China: two opposite faces of the intangible coin that represents the emerging economic superpower of the future. Both Asian, Both the most populous countries in the world and Both the fastest growing economies. Despite these similarities, when it comes to sports, there is not much left in common, particularly in racket games.
Albeit Indian’s have done quite well playing tennis on the world stage (Shout-out to Leander Paes, Sania and Mirza for their recent successes), when it comes to playing the same sport except on tables, we have lagged far behind our Asian neighbors in all major TT competitions. Likewise, while Saina Nehwal is a lone star in a galaxy of non-performing Indian badminton players, the situation is equally unsatisfactory. What are the real causes for such a discrepancy?
5) Training and Development Facilities
China’s badminton men and women programs are supported by their government. This helps them continually be numero uno in badminton. The Chinese government takes care of everything for the athletes in the badminton program. For example, the government takes care of the athletes housing, meals and training. Therefore, China’s athletes do not have to worry about anything except for playing badminton and preparing for competitions. Not to mention-embarrassing India. All our sports ministers do is lie in a corrupt nexus with the commercial arms that control the most popular sports such as cricket.
4) Cultural support for sports
Unlike the mad following cricket enjoys in our homeland, table-tennis and badminton are by far one of the most popular sports in China. This inherent historical culture (perhaps in lieu of support for individual sports due to the individualistic nature of society propelled by the one-child rule) is a sure cause for said dominance. Can you recall every kid you’ve seen-rich or poor practicing cricket defense shots in backyards and roads trying to be like Sachin Tendulkar? It’s just like that in China, except they’ve raquets instead of bats. And tables, obviously.
3) Innate Skill
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. China have dominated badminton at the Olympics winning all but 1 gold medal (23/24), which Denmark won, and a whopping 65 out the total 76 medals contested since 1992 (19 of 24 silver and 23 of 28 bronze). China has been the clear force in table-tennis. The only other countries to win gold medals, apart from China, are South Korea with 3 gold medals and Sweden with 1 gold medal! Enough said. India hasn’t won close to anything resembling such figures. Must be the genes!
This can’t be counted as an unfair advantage China has, because well, we do too. China has a huge pool of talent to pick for recruiting athletes for their badminton program. This is one of the ways that they became the best badminton program in the world. China is a very big country with a population of about 1.3 billion people. There are about 100 million people in China that takes part in badminton. It’s just plain old Maths. It’s even a more skewed figure for TT.
1) Any hope for a change in Status-Quo?
India has shown brief glimmers of hope with Saina Nehwal on the global stage for badminton victories and stellar performances. But if we truly want to move beyond a one-hit wonder case, it requires a macroeconomic overhaul of the very institutions of sports. This has shown signs with the government attracting more global talent, coaches and infrastructure such as we saw in the Commonwealth Games. With other sports boasting of western legends coming to India to train and conduct competitions, such as football with the ISL or Liverpool FC setting up domestic academies, there is a chance this attitude will trickle down to TT and Badminton.
Let’s hope for the best. Only time will tell where this gross imbalance of sporting prowess will change. What’s your views on this topic. Do share with us in the comments section. This is the right time to participate in events and reach the next level people . Register here – http://www.sportzify.com/events