“The National Games is the most important sporting event in the country.” So says the website of the currently-in-progress 35th National Games Kerala 2015 (31 Jan – 14 Feb). It’s something like India’s Olympics. However, none of the television news channels, save Doordarshan even mentions it as a news item, so forget covering it live. What with the Delhi elections and the impending cricket World Cup, even the newspapers give it not even quarter page. Those interested would need to rely on the website for updates and results, which even has live webcast feed.
Yesterday was an exciting day for some of us in Mumbai. One of the girls who trains with the other youngsters at SAI, Kandivali (E), Rashmi Sheregar had made it to the final of the women’s 100m. Her timing in the semi-final at 11.70 sec was the best among all the runners so we were all expecting a medal. In a closely contested final, Rashmi won the bronze with a timing of 11.87 sec. Read the report here. She is not yet 17 and has several years ahead of her to improve on her timing and maybe make it to the Asian/ Olympic Games. The qualifying mark for the 100m women at the 2014 Asian Games was 11.50 sec.
I now look back 21 years, at the National Games that was held in Balewadi, Pune, Jan 16-24 1994, As a part of the Karnataka women’s basketball team, it was a fortnight to remember. We travelled by train from Bangalore to Pune, in time for the opening ceremony and we left after the games ended. This was quite unlike some of the elite sportspersons who arrived only for their events, stayed in good hotels around, and left as soon as they were done. Our team did not make it to the semis, but the memories I hold are still very fond. And the photographs keep them alive!