Rio Olympics: Anirban Lahiri Feels India's Pain Of Not Winning Medal in Games
India have put up a disappointing show in Shooting and Tennis in the 2016 Rio Olympics and all hopes are pinned on Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia in Golf.
Golf is featuring in the Olympics after a gap of 112 years
Anirban Lahiri is India's No.1 golfer
Lahiri won the silver medal in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha
Unlike Shooting, Hockey and Tennis, Golf did not receive much attention in India ahead of the Rio Games. But with some of the country's top names out of contention, all hopes are now pinned on the golfing duo of Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chowrasia.
In golfing circles- not just in India but around the World- Anirban Lahiri is a name to reckon with. India's no.1 golfer is also the highest ranked Asian golfer, having capped off an outstanding 2015 finishing tied 5th at the PGA championship and becoming the first Indian to feature in the Presidents Cup. Â
Watching him practice at the Olympic Golf course in Rio a day before his competition begins, one couldn't help but notice the Indian tricolour on his golf cap and kit: an unusual sight for a sport like golf where individual competitions supersede international events. Â
"Little bit of deja vu. The last time I was in this position was in Asian Games Doha 2006. I have fond memories as we won a silver. Hopefully it will be another good memory this time around and we can bring something back", Lahiri told NDTV.
The playing field has a somewhat weak look to it with the top four ranked golfers in the world- Jason Day, Justin Johnson, Jordon Spieth and Rory Micllroy- pulling out of the Rio games because of Zika virus concerns. But with names like Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Juston Rose in the fray their is no shortage of star power.
"The field that we have here is quite deep. Whether you have top 2, 3 players in the world or the top 25 from the next 27, the field is still deep. Having said that, the Olympics is a different ball game you just have to believe that you can win. For me the attitude remains the same- be aggressive and just go for it"
The 118 member strong Indian contingent hasn't provided fans back home any opportunity to celebrate so far. So does the poor showing so Team India put pressure on the golf team or inspire them to do better?
"All of us feel the pain for each other. You feel for them. It only motivates me to go out there and give it all that I have, as much for yourself as everyone else who is here and everyone back home"
60 professionals from 34 countries will be vying for that elusive gold medal in a 72-hole individual stroke play tournament as Golf returns to the Olympic Games after a gap of 112 years.
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