Handball: No indoor orientation yet!

Given the Indian handball teams’ — men’s and women’s — low-key performances in previous editions of the Asian Games and the Asian Championships, it was a surprise to find a contingent being sent to Jakarta-Palembang in the first place.

The Indian men’s team had its best finish at the 1982 Games in New Delhi, placing eighth. This was the first time the country had participated in the sport.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Given that the Indian handball teams’ — men’s and women’s — low-key performances in previous editions of the Asian Games and the Asian Championships have not been impressive at all, it was a surprise to find a contingent being sent to Jakarta-Palembang in the first place.

The men’s team had its best finish at the 1982 Games in New Delhi, placing eighth. This was the first time India had participated in the sport. India skipped handball for the next five editions, then finished 12th in 2006, ninth in 2010 and 14th in 2014.

The women’s team has fared no better, finishing eighth and last in 2006 and eighth in a field of nine teams in 2010 and 2014. In fact, India did not even send a squad to the 2017 Asian Women’s Handball Championship. At the 2018 Asian Men’s Handball Championship held in South Korea, India finished 12th.

“We will try our best. It will be very difficult. We will hope to make it to the quarterfinals [in both],” said Anandeshwar Pandey, treasurer of the Indian Olympic Association and secretary of the Handball Federation of India. “We don’t have a proper indoor court; we have always played outdoor. The Sports Authority of India doesn’t have an indoor court for us. First, let us have a taste of the atmosphere of the indoor court and then we can think of winning medals.”

TEAMS
Men: Kamajeet Singh, Bajrang Thakur, Atul Kumar, Harender Singh, Sachin Kumar Bhardwaj, Karamjeet Singh, Deepak, Davinder Singh, Harjinder Singh, Navdeep, Naveen Punia, Ramesh Chand, Avin Khatkar, Adithya Nagaraj, Rahul Dubey and Greenidge D’Cunha.
Women: Diksha Kumari, Shiva Singh, Nina Shil, Nidhi Sharma, Deepa, Ritu, Rajwant Kaur, Indu Gupta, Maninder Kaur, Sanjeeta, Priyanka Thakur, Jyoti Shukla, Banita Sharma, K. M. Manjula Pathak, Khila Devi and Rimpi.