“All good things come to those who wait” is a wonderful line mouthed by Robert De Niro in the blockbuster movie Ronin. Volleyball has been in the news for all the wrong reasons a couple of years ago, courtesy, goons who threw Arunima Sinha a former national level volleyball player out of a moving train in April 2011.
She was hit by a passing train and hospitalised with serious leg and pelvic injuries. In a bid to save her life, doctors had to amputate her left leg below the knee. Arunima Sinha created history on 21st May 2013 by becoming the first Indian amputee to conquer the Mt.Everest.
History was made on 26th June 2013 at Nakhonpathom, Thailand where the Indian eve’s thrashed Uzbekistan 3-0 to make it to the final round of the Asian Zonal Qualification Volleyball tournament to be held in Japan from 4-8 September 2013 which serves as the qualifying tournament for a berth at the women’s World Championship to be hosted by Italy in 2014.This is the first time the team has been given an opportunity to play in the qualification round and they grabbed it gleefully thrashing the Uzbeks. The team coached by Meena Mahalingam, a former National player along with R P Tailor and Vaishali ( the player who holds the record for having participated in the most number of national championships) put their best foot forward despite their limitations. After the ninth place finish at the Guangzhou Asian Games (2010) and the eleventh place at the Taipei Asian Championship (2011) this was their first trip abroad and the team was well served by attacker M.S.Poornima with 16 points and Captain Mini Mol Abraham with 11 points. Effective blocking by Tiji Raju, judicious distribution of passes by setter Terin Anthony and some good retrieving by libero Priyanka enabled the Indian eve’s team function as a well oiled machine to put it across the break-away former Soviet Republic Uzbekistan.
The team get’s an opportunity to participate in the final round of the Asian Qualification in Japan later this year as well as the Asian Championship scheduled for September in Thailand. The last time the eve’s participated in the World Championship was in the year 1952 at Moscow where they finished Seventh. They were invited to participate at the Moscow world’s. However, this time round they have begun training in the right earnest. All the very best to my fellow country women as they embark on an enviable task. Lastly, condolences to the bereaved family of Padmashri Dr.Sivanthi Adityan, the doyen of Indian Volleyball who passed away recently.
Contributed by G V Madhav, Former National Volleyball Player and Commentator, Hyderabad, India