So finally India did not win a gold medal at the London Olympics.

That is no reason to be despondent.

Twice the success: Sushil Kumar acknowledges the crowd after receiving his silver medal in the men’s 66kg freestyle wrestling event on Sunday. Kumar became the first Indian to win multiple Olympic medals. Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP

India’s successes, so far, have been largely due to individual effort and not because of any systemic support. If anything, the sporting system—which is by and large a collection of bureaucrats—in the country is a positive hindrance to success.

The way to better performance is to let sportspersons—players and coaches—decide what they want. The government should just hand them a cheque and disappear.

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