Close on the heels of some shining performances in Rio 2016 (Olympics and Paralympics), Indian women prove their mettle once again at the Asian Beach Games 2016. The Indian women’s beach kabaddi team bagged the first gold medal at the 5th Asian Beach Games. What makes this victory very special is that the women’s beach kabaddi team has won the gold for the record fifth time in succession. Alongside this victory, Amisha Tokas won a silver in women’s 70kg category kurash (a form of wrestling originated in Uzbekistan), after losing to Nguyen Thi Lan of Vietnam in the final.
The Asian Beach Games, began in 2008, as a biennial multi-sport event to be held every two years among athletes representing countries from Asia. The games are regulated by the Olympic Council of Asia. Previous editions were hosted by Indonesia, Oman, China and Thailand, and this year the games are being held in Vietnam.
Sports is an oft neglected area in our country, and women in sports are disregarded even further. Despite the obstacles faced by women in the social and professional spheres due to existing stereotypes, deep rooted gender bias, and glass ceilings, it is heartening that our women sportspersons have proved their capabilities in various different sporting platforms. PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar and Deepa Malik, have done us very proud this year, and the women’s beach kabaddi team has further added to our country’s glory.
Having said that, it is high time that the authorities take note of the poor infrastructure and administrative support provided to our athletes, and start inculcating a discipline of sports right from school and college level. Only when a sporting culture is established, will we see more such medal winning performances in future sporting competitions. Our men and women are very capable of exceptional sporting performances and achievements, and it is up to us as a nation to provide the means and encouragement to that end.
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