The medals’ race in London Olympics was so fast that even a bronze medal glided past Pakistan at a breakneck speed. But in the ashes of our defeat lies a golden lesson; this is just about the right time to think over what has happened and why it has happened.

At least this time around, the results from the top half indicate a strong co-relation between a country’s medal standings and its prosperity and generally the standard of living. USA came first by winning 46 golds, China stood second with 38 golds and UK third with 29 golds. Pakistan’s entire crew was routed as though they were amateurs. And it is no overstatement that many would not have even qualified, if entries were based on individual points system like in tennis, where we could not make it to the main round because of low rankings. While we marvel at legends like Micheal Phelps, Usain Bolt and others, we must also take into account the hard work, strength of character and the state patronage that invariably goes into turning an average Joe into a medal grabber. The excuse that our sportsmen could not “click” because of bad luck is to further shut our eyes to the causes of our disaster. An international athlete undergoes fitness regime often spanning years besides getting an experience of the world tour, before he sets out to make history. Our teams can only perform at these competitive levels when we will give them exactly all the coaching and training facilities that these world class players have. Apart from appointing inept coaches, retired bureaucrats as heads of sports boards on political grounds, one of the main problems, barring cricket is the absence of infrastructure; it is obvious that anyone who lacks suitable playing fields and stadiums to hone their skills, they cannot prove their mettle and that too in Olympics. Funds are scant and most of what is sanctioned is pocketed by wayward board officials. Conditions are simply worse off in smaller cities, where exist neither coaches nor stadiums.

To resurrect the sports, we need motivated individuals running the boards, talented youngsters, and coaches to train them, but foremost is to weed out corruption. It takes years of hard work, fitness and coaches to prepare a record breaker, which means a sustained effort by respective sports boards as well as the players themselves. We can do it, but we have to start running to reach the finish line.