A nation of 1.2 billion managed two silver and four bronze medals at the London Games - the country's biggest Olympic haul equaling the collective tally of India's previous seven campaigns in the quadrennial event. Shooter Vijay Kumar and grappler Sushil Kumar fetched silver medals while magnificent Mary Kom, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and shooter Gagan Narang bagged bronze medals.
The coveted gold medal eluded India this time around, but fans extended the kind of reception reserved otherwise for India's pampered cricketers in their welcoming of 81 athletes back from London. Four years ago, Abhinav Bindra had won the gold, while Sushil and boxer Vijender Singh had clinched the bronze medal in Beijing.
While the London haul is testimonial to the development India has made in recent times, sports infrastructure is still woefully poor in the cricket-crazy country. There is a large pool of sporting talent in India but what is needed is the right strategy, training and education to tap this talent and hone their skills for Rio in four years’ time.