Only a nation bereft of much sporting achievement can celebrate milestones in mere participation. Or perhaps it’s just that we have no sporting culture to talk of and as such any achievement is blown out of proportion; there aren’t too many of those, you see.
An omnipotence of connectivity shapes the thought process of the world now, so it’s foolish to believe that there aren’t enough discerning souls who can put qualifying for the Olympics in context.
Whether we send 100 athletes to Rio or twice that number, what really counts is how much metal this lot hauls back.
Yes, for a nation that has never had so many people achieving the Olympic mark, it well calls for a thump on the back of the athletes who made it.
Yes, these are the best we have and their qualification achievement, no matter how insignificant on the international stage, may well be celebrated. But amid all this chest thumping and self-congratulation, I fear the people who are actually responsible for moulding sportspeople in this country manage to get away with mediocrity.
When we celebrate participation instead of performance, the thekedars of sport in this country are able to justify their existence instead of being held accountable for their indifference.