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Kudos to hockey men

Heartiest congratulations to the Indian hockey team for winning the gold medal in the XVII Asian Games held at Incheon in South Korea by defeating Pakistan. It was a sweet revenge of the defeat India suffered at the hands of Pakistan earlier in the league matches. Asian gold has come to the country after a long time. With this, India have also qualified for the Olympics to be held in 2016 in Brazil. It was a proud moment for the nation as Sardar Singh and his boys stood on the top of the victory stand and the Tricolour flew high.

Gurdeep. Singh, Dharampur

Sardar Singh’s team

Laying more astroturfs has paid off. India has played very well in the Asian Games men's hockey from day one. Sardar Singh has proved that he is not only a great player but also a pivotal feeder and master morale booster. India won most of its matches decisively. Our only loss in the round robin stage was to the arch opportunist Pakistan team. Pakistan did not play better, but their finishing was highly spirited. In the final, India played well. Pakistan's lead taking goal was also a product of rank opportunism and against the run of play. But India did not lose heart and towards the dying stages, they produced a morale building gem of a goal. In the penalty shootout, India showed technical superiority. The final 4-2 result was well deserved. The goalkeeper performed a splendid job. A rejuvenated India must now provide diet equivalent to European standards to its players. There should be more national level tournaments for a better selection of team and more experience of playing against Australia, Germany, Holland, New Zealand and the Great Britain.

The other gold in women's 4x400 m relay race was won in grand style. The Indian quartet indeed led decisively.

Harjap Singh Aujla, New Jersey (USA)

Salute to Mary Kom

As a veteran soldier, I see in Mary Kom qualities which I witnessed in soldiers who captured Tiger Hill. Be it aggression, fighting spirit, stamina or the will to bring honour to the country, it is all there in this gutsy 5' 2'', 31-year-old pugilist hailing from a poor family of a remote village in the insurgency-infested Manipur. With a bronze in the last Olympics and now the first Indian woman to win a gold in boxing at the Asian Games, MC Mary Kom has caught the imagination of the world. Mary did not give up even after motherhood. In a career of 14 years, with no big sponsors or godfathers, she has toiled on her own and made a mark by winning world championships five times. Her first coach Ibomcha Singh at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal, when she began her boxing career in 2000, says: "For a woman who has surmounted so many challenges in life, nothing is impossible. She is an attacking boxer and will never hold back."

That is true emancipation. Her husband and family stood by her. Salute to her and the new woman power.

Col RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Mary a legend

The 31-year-old mother of three sons Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, five-time world amateur boxing champion, the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships and a bronze medallist of the 2012 Summer Olympics has also become the first Indian woman boxer to clinch a gold medal at the Asian Games. She came from behind to beat Kazakhstan’s Zhaina Shekerbekova in the flyweight (51kg) summit clash.

Mary Kom did not let fame or lack of money affect her performance. She has set an example to all women who put a stop to their careers for various reasons. She is a living legend.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad

Injustice to Sarita

Everybody saw that Sarita had beaten Park Jina in the semifinal bout and the judgment declaring Park's win came as a surprise to all, including Korean fans and officials. Mongolian boxer Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Indian boxer Devendro Singh too, seemed to have won their respective bouts against the Koreans earlier, but the home boxers were declared winners. It is believed that South Korean boxers were favoured unduly in Incheon. Sarita Devi refused to accept the bronze medal in protest and gifted it to her rival Park Jina. Many believe that Sarita's behaviour was not in sportsmanship spirit. But it was brave of her to stand up to the injustice meted out to her. She deserves applause for taking a firm stand against corruption. It is painful that no official of the Indian Olympic Association raised a voice against the injustice.


Bias in sports

Sarita had left her infant son with his aunt to prepare for the Asian Games. No doubt, Sarita played very well in the semi-final match and her punches had upset the Korean boxer. But the judges surprised the audiences by giving a verdict in favour of the Korean. Sarita was constrained to lodge a protest, though the way was not proper. Had the officials of the Indian Olympic Association raised a voice against the injustice instead of slipping away from the venue, the matter could have been settled.

Mangolian boxer Tugstrogt Nyambayer and Indian boxer Devendro Singh suffered the same fate as the judges gave verdicts in favour of home boxers. Such biased judgments discourage the players. It is surprising that no minister has raised a voice against this injustice.

Kulwinder Pal Dhuri, Dhuri

Enable players

That India, with a population of over 1.25 billion, ended up with only 11 gold medals in the Asian Games shows that something is lacking somewhere. The Sarita Devi episode shows that Indian sportspersons need psychological strength. There is need to help ready our sportspersons to enable them to take on the world's best.

Prof Sandeep Kumar, Amritsar

Reconstruct stadium

Why has the reconstruction of Bulton Park Cricket Stadium in Jalandhar City been delayed? Many international have been held on this ground. Jalandhar is a sports hub and manufacturer of sports goods. It is also a leading exporter of sports goods. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal should release funds for the reconstruction of teh stadium.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru, Jalandhar City

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