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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
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Matchsticks

Can Paes do an Atlanta encore? Is this the golden year for Indian hockey? One can only pray

Matchsticks
Matchsticks
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

It is the kind of litmus test every athlete loves to hate. Particularly, if he represents a nation of medal-starved couch commentators. So, it’s quite an awesome burden that the Sydney-bound Indian contingent carries on its shoulders. The men and women who constitute this contingent know that they must make the games a matter of pride for the billion pairs of eyes peering into the ubiquitous television every minute of each day. They are also fully aware of the fact that these eyes won’t be satisfied by anything less than a few medals. And the odour of scandal emanating from the quarters of the sleaze merchants of cricket have only made these athletes’ task tougher.

They know that they must force the focus back on to the track. Leander Paes knows this. And so does the hockey team. When Paes held the tricolour at the opening ceremony, he could certainly feel the weight on his shoulders, the burden of carrying the hopes of a nation lusting for medals of any colour. Perhaps it is a little too much to expect him to repeat his...

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