No Medal but lots of Mettle @ Asian Games

Indian Amateur boys Aadil, Rayhan and Kshitij gave a gutsy fight at Asian Games, but they are just behind the quality field that raced well into distance.

Asian Games 2018 Indian Golf Team

Aug 27, 2018: As the first two days of the Asian games rolled by, I doubt if there was anyone who could have predicted the outcome as it turned out to be. I, myself was quite sure that India after many years had a chance at the medals. Having said that, we need to take into account that golf or any sport for that matter is extremely unpredictable. Golf, I feel is more so because of the nature of the sport. We have four rounds, 72 holes and many extraneous factors that come into play.

Rayhan Thomas and Aadil Bedi both showed us some superb golf over the first two days and Kshitij was not too far behind. Hari Mohan Singh, did struggle in Jakarta, but remember too that he played remarkably well against a professional field at the Take Solutions Masters in Bengaluru. Rayhan  has been a star performer in many international events. With such good players in our stable, the future is bright. One week cannot be a barometer for their capabilities.

Reading the scoring patterns, I was highly impressed by the way Aadil, Rayhan and Kshitij charged up and played to the situation at hand. The scores on the first two days were fantastic. The weekend was nothing short of a gutsy fight from the boys, but they came up short against a quality field that raced into the distance.

A mega event like the Asian Games can be overwhelming and sometimes the pressures just get the better of you. There is no taking away that the players did their best and that’s what an athlete can do in his or her capacity. The results are always hard to predict, I would think the players have done their best and we should pat them for that.

As an athlete myself, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, especially because such a stage can be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

From my experience watching the girls team play in Singapore and thereafter in Jakarta for a few practice rounds, I was certain they would put up a good fight, although their hopes didn’t see much light either. Just to put things in perspective; I watched Sifat Sagoo win the MST Ladies event in Singapore and she conducted herself with maturity. Ridhima Dilawari has one of the finest swings I have seen and Diksha Dagar is a girl who plays with all of her heart. With such a combination of players, it’s just one of those weeks that they weren’t able to click.

A lot has also been said about the absence of a coach with the team. Though it was a poor miss by the Indian Golf Union, the final result cannot be laid at the door of this legitimate excuse.

Over the past few months the IGU  has been in the limelight for the wrong reasons. They were derecognized recently and Sports Authority of India was making most of the decisions.

Just prior to the games, The IGU got recognized for an interim period of 90 days and decided to not send the coach appointed by the SAI.

In such events, the need of a coach and mentor figure is essential, just in case the players need solid experienced advice in the situation. I think it is about time that the Union starts to think about the sport instead of any lingering personal agenda. A coach cannot guarantee a win, but it should be the Union’s priority to send our team fully fitted with gear and personnel.

As a fellow golfer, the boys and girls have my best wishes for a bright future on the road ahead. And I fully expect them to do well wherever they play.


By Rahul Bajaj (Asian Games Medalist, 2010)

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