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Amidst international sexist coverage, Indian women shine over men in Rio

Amlan Das
SENIOR ANALYST
1.09K   //    22 Aug 2016, 20:38 IST
Both the medal winners for India PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik with the former’s coach Gopichand (Photo: Twitter/@SakshiMalik
 

At a time when the international media reeked of sexist coverage of the Olympics 2016, it is Indian women athletes who over shone their male counterparts to be the top performers at Rio. 

It’s really distressing that Carolina Marin is known as ‘Lady Nadal’ back home while someone ingenious in India named PV Sindhu the ‘Lady Virat Kohli’. Well if Spain is rigged with subconscious sexism, then a pessimist would say that we are in India. But as it looks like, things aren’t really that good all around with greats like Ryan Lochte commenting on American swimmer Katie Ledecky that she swims like a guy.

A Facebook post calling Sindhu the lady Virat Kohli

And here in India, we have Sakshi Malik breaking the deadlock for India in a sport which most of Indians conventionally consider being for men. So when Sindhu, Malik and Dipa got the entire national to a standstill with their performances, our media was quick to hail them as ‘India’s daughter or sister’.

But there is the thing; all these women had to do something incredible or rather win a medal to be hailed as the nation’s daughter or sister. What about others? Who are they? In Dwayne Bravo’s word, let’s call all of them ‘Champion’.

Here’s a lesson or two for all the parties involved in the sexist coverage the games, around 56% of the top 25 performers for India turned out be to be women.

Sania Mirza along with Rohan Bopanna made it to the semi-finals of the mixed doubles while Vinesh Phogat missed out unfortunately in the quarter-finals. Let’s also not forget the names of Bombayla Devi, Deepika Kumari and Laxmirani Majhi who took India to the quarter-finals of the Archery team event.

One notable name which however most of us missed out was Lalita Babar. For those of who has followed, Lalita finished 10th in the 3000m steeplechase race and her performance is no short of an inspiration. Must not we also forget our women’s relay team comprising of Anilda Thomas, Tintu Lukka, MR Poovamma and Nirmala Sheoran.

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Thought they finished 13th, but they deserve media’s India’s daughter status as much as others considering where come from and what they did. We live in a country where the electronic timer is switched off due to lack of electricity in the nationals. So as someone aptly puts it up, Indian athletes deserve a medal for putting up with its officials.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 13:  Lalita Shivaji Babar of India competes in the Women's 3000m Steeplechase Round 1 on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Lalita Shivaji Babar  competes in the Women's 3000m Steeplechase Round 1 on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games 

Noteworthy name again is again that of Aditi Ashok. Well, surprisingly (or not) enough, this 18-year-old prodigy came into the limelight only when the nation saw a brink of a medal hope in her. The fact that an 18-year-old girl has made it to Rio in a sport which is definitely not well versed in India is inspiring enough.

Manpreet Kaur (Shotput Rank 23), Ankita Sharma (Long jump Rank 24), Babita Kumari (Wrestling), Dutee Chand, Sarbani Nanda, Khusbir Kaur, OP Jaisha, Saina Nehwal, Jwala Gutta, Ashwani Ponappa et all. Everyone who participated in Rio has made the country proud and everyone is ‘India’s Daughter’. There’s unapologetically nothing to take away from the other sex as this edition of the Olympics, Indian women surpassed men quite handsomely. 

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