Friday, August 29, 2008

India in Olympics : Its getting better all the time

India scored their first (& only) individual gold medal in Beijing 2008 Olympics when 24 year old Abhinav Bindra shot his way in 10 mtr. rifle shooting leaving the silver medallist Chinese literally breaking down in tears. Although India’s overall medal tally of 3 is way behind China’s superlative performance of 100, India’s relative progress over the last 4 Olympics has given the citizens a cause to cheer.

India’s ranking in medals tally has progressed from 77th in Atlanta’1996 to 50th in Beijing 2008 as given below.

1996 Atlanta 77th
2000 Sydney 74th
2004 Athens 67th
2008 Beijing 50th

Recently another chart is doing the rounds on the web,which ranks countries by total medals per population . Jamaica tops the list and India is ranked 55th not far behind China at 49th. Similarly in ranking by gold medals per population ,Jamaica tops the list , India is ranked 55th and China at 47th .

However, in another chart where nations are ranked by medals per "per-capita GDP" , India’s ranking shoots up to 11th just behind Jamaica at 10th with China at 2nd place & North Korea at top. When only gold medals are taken into account, the same ranking holds except that Jamaica is at 7th position.

Are these continuously improving results then a vindication of the fact that post-1991 liberalisation & subsequent economic growth of India is showing upon the Olympic medals tally too?

By 2020, if India manages to double its per-capita GDP ( with an annual growth of 8-9% & net population growth of 1.6 to 2%), will we be able to catch up China in medals tally ?

What do you think ?

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