Sarita Devi should've accepted Asian Games bronze medal: Rahul Dravid
The 42-year-old speaks about the Sarita Devi controversy and being called "The Wall".
According to former India captain Rahul Dravid, Indian boxer Sarita Devi didn't do the right thing by declining to accept her bronze medal during the Asian Games that were held at Incheon, South Korea, in October last year. The 29-year-old Manipur-based boxer lost her semifinal bout versus Jina Park of South Korea on a dodgy points system and then, refused to take the bronze medal on the podium. She was, consequently, fined and banned for a year for her behaviour by the Amateur Indian Boxing Association (AIBA).
During an interaction with the audience at the inaugural TCM 'Sports Lecture' on Tuesday, the 42-year-old said that the boxer should’ve respected the fact that there were others on the podium who worked equally hard to reach so far.
“You have to remember that along with you, there were three others at the podium also. They have also worked hard for this day and by not accepting the medal, you also didn't respect their achievements,” Dravid said
"I am not really aware about what the points system in boxing are. But yes, I am sympathetic about how she must have felt after losing the semifinal. But I don't think I supported what she did after 24 hours when she didn't accept the medal. I think that was not a right thing to do,” he added.
Bindra’s gold medal at Beijing inspired me: Dravid
The former India No.3 further said that Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal win at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 was a huge inspiration for him and that played a key role in him working even harder to regain lost form.
"Bindra's achievements helped me dig deep into my reserves,” he said.
Along with the shooter, Dravid also praised the performances of champion boxer MC Mary Kom and badminton stars Saina Nehwal & K Srikkanth and said that the athletes require tremendous support from the government if they are to do well in global events. He also pointed to five changes that need to be made if India are to produce more champions in the future.
"I would like to see five changes being implemented in order to make us a true sporting nation. Firstly, the government should wholeheartedly support the endeavours of 'Elite Athletes' while various sports federations should relinquish the garb of control and make sport a public property.
"I would like to see an integration between Sports and Education while coaches and support staff being encouragement which also create an employment opportunity. The women's participation holds the key as then only can we have true leaders.
"Also I would like to see equal focus being given to Para-sports where para-athletes should also get all facilities. A National Sports Policy needs to be formulated with active participation from all stakeholders,” the retired batsman said.
He also spoke about reading a report named ‘Dhoni Effect’, published by ‘Ernst and Young’, and gave a humorous take on what it would sound like if a similar report was made on him.
“Actually 'Dravid Effect' was when you scored at less than run-a-ball,” he said.
Hope no one gets my nickname in the future: Dravid
Thanks to his solid defence, Dravid was nicknamed “The Wall” during his playing career, but he hoped that no one would ever get that nickname in the future.
"I wish no one gets that nickname. I believe it was someone in some news desk must have given me that nickname with an eye on future headlines. 'The Wall' then became 'The Wall is crumbling' and 'Another brick in the wall falls'," he joked.