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India ranked worst performing medal winning country at Rio Olympics 2016

The results of a recently concluded survey expose the dismal state of sports in the country.

PV Sindhu
India’s PV Sindhu caused a lot of upsets on her road to the Singles final in Badminton at Rio

In the months leading up to the Rio Olympics, Indian officials were optimistic enough to state that this edition of the Summer Games would be the turning point of the condition of marginalised sports in the country. Top managerial ministers claimed that India was slated to win at least 10 medals from the Games courtesy the largest ever contingent the country has sent to the Olympics. However, by the end, India managed a chalk up a tally of just two medals; a silver and a bronze.

Also read: Rio Olympics 2016: IOA responsible for India’s poor performance, says Milkha SIngh

According to a survey conducted by several streams of the international media, India has managed to achieve the worst rank, among the 87 teams to win a medal at Rio, in two parameters. With a population of more than 1,326,801,000, the country figures at the end of the list when the medal tally is adjusted and calculated on a per capita basis. Grenada and the Bahamas, despite winning lesser medals, achieved the top two ranks when the medal tally was calculated on the aforementioned basis.

Countries with medals ranked according to a per capita basis
CountryRankTotal number of MedalsMedals per million people
Grenada119.36
Bahamas225.15
Jamaica3114.04
New Zealand4183.92
Denmark5152.64
India8720.00

India officially ranked 67th among the participants at Rio based on the number of medals won in this edition of the Games. The fact that we did not finish last among all the participating countries provides small consolation in the face of another statistical analysis conducted by The Telegraph. With a GDP of $US 2 trillion forecast by the International Monetary Fund in 2016, India once again ranks at the 87th position when the medal tally is adjusted according to GDP. This is the worst rank a participating Association that won a medal at the Games can achieve.

Medals calculated on the basis of GDP
CountryRankTotal number of MedalsMedals per £100bn GDP
Chinese Taipei13272.98
Grenada21102.23
Jamaica31178.54
Georgia4750.12
Armenia5437.87
India8720.10

A record 207 countries were involved in the 2016 Summer Games which means that 120 Olympic Associations finished the two-week extravaganza without any medal at all. Looking at the medal distribution from this angle, Pakistan was the largest underperformer at the Games. The country's failure to win a medal with a population of 192,826,000 meant that they ranked last among the 207 countries to participate in Rio.

Needless to say, India has become a laughing stock in the international media due to the conclusions this recent survey came up with. With many people back home criticising the Sports Ministry of the country, the events that came to light in Rio make this a not-so-surprising matter.

Questions have arisen as to why a radiologist with no knowledge of sports medicine accompanied the contingent. Vijay Goel has incessantly received disapproval for embarrassing the country in his quest for clicking selfies with the Indian athletes. The latest story to come out of Rio is that of marathon runner OP Jaisha who claims to have been neglected by the officials who were supposed to be present with water for her to drink during her run.

Also read: PV Sindhu shows her respect for the game after picking up Carolina Marin’s racquet after Rio 2016 final

Sakshi Mallik
Sakshi Mallik won India’s first medal at Rio

India has won just one gold medal since 1980, when Abhinav Bindra finished first in the 10m air rifle event at the Beijing Olympics. Overall, the country has bagged 28 medals from the quadrennial Summer Games, with its highest ever tally coming in 2012.

Archery, Shooting, Tennis, and Boxing were deemed as some of the strongest squads and were slated as major medal hopes. None of them, however, yielded anything. Furthermore, athletes like Saina Nehwal and Dipa Karmakar were forced to perform in their respective games with major injuries.

This survey and its corresponding results should immediately noted, so that steps for the wholesome development of sports in the country are looked into and worked upon.

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