Golden opportunity for Aditya Mehta

Oct 20, 2013, 05:13 IST | Yasin Merchant

Aditya Mehta's craft was brilliant at the Indian Open this week, but one cannot be blamed for demanding more than a silver from a player, who can win gold

I may probably be guillotined for my outburst, but I personally feel that we should not be celebrating Aditya Mehta’s second place performance in the recently concluded Indian Open snooker event, for too long. Yes, his run up to the final was brilliant, yes, it was history in the making, and yes, it does set a different benchmark for all Indian aspirants now.

Aditya Mehta
Aditya Mehta

But is this all we Indians get satisfied with? Why are we not winning events consistently and then rolling out the red carpet for our achievers? We now have the infrastructure to create champions — so why don’t we?

Read a relevant quotation in recent times, and have been following it like a believer when judging performances, especially when we Indians shout from the roof-tops about our ‘nearly-there’ finishes.

Yasin Merchant

I quote ‘The danger lies not in setting high standards, but in setting low standards and achieving them’. Let us not celebrate silver medals, rather, let us lament missing out on the gold. This will keep us motivated and deliver us from complacency.

Let no one misunderstand me here. I have been Aditya’s biggest supporter, especially when he was down in the dumps and was on the verge of quitting. His craft was on full display last week, but can I be blamed for demanding more from a player, who can deliver? My advice to him and to all snooker fans would be, for now, to feel happy for him for his more than decent show, but at the same time pick up pointers from Ding, as to how professional snooker is really played.

Not conceding an inch, Ding proved why he is where he is. If I were allowed to use the word ‘flawless’ freely, I would use it to describe his complete ‘in the zone’ display in the final. He looked the winner from the very beginning of the event, and blasted all theories about building your form as the tournament progresses.

Aditya has had a dream week, but this should just whet his appetite for bigger goals. He has enough ammo, the desire, and the backing of a billion Indians, with me heading the list, to fulfil his destiny.

Next time, a second place finish should be unacceptable because, Aditya has set the bar higher — for himself and for all our expectations. As for the event itself, it’s another feather in the Billiand and Snooker Federation of India’s (BSFI) cap. For the Indian fans, it was a dream come true — to see in flesh and blood their heroes, and the icing on the cake — an Indian in the final. I wait, in anticipation for more such events by the BSFI, but more so, looking forward to more Indian victories, with more Indian professionals in the fray. Rise and shine, all you Indian snooker players, for Aditya Mehta has now shown the way to glory.

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