Achievements going unnoticed

IT was a remarkable achievement for two seasoned players in the National Super League volleyball event at Renukoot. Jagbir Singh of Punjab Police has been the spearhead of the team for nearly a decade now. After the towering Sukhpal Singh left the scene, Jagbir, 27, has filled the vacuum with his brilliant spiking. Sukhpal had the height advantage, but Jagbir, who is comparatively shorter, is the most deceptive spiker in the country. In the last seven or eight years, Punjab and Punjab Police have won at least half a dozen titles in the National-level events. Jagbir's contribution to the success has been phenomenal. He is a nightmare for top blockers. On top of it Jagbir is a great fighter and can turn a match around with his steady and neat spiking. Incidentally, his volleyball career started in the Chennai National senior championship in 1994. Very few players have such a long and steady career. But he is a disappointed man today. His achievements have not brought any incentive both professionally and gamewise. He feels even the Volleyball Federation of India has not considered him for any major international competitions, barring a few low key `Tests'.

What Jagbir has done to Punjab and Punjab Police, Geeta Raju has done to Southern Railway and Indian Railways, who have completely dominated the national scene for more than two decades. She is undoutedly the best spiker in the country today. When she failed two years ago in the National senior championship at Kozhikode, Indian Railways lost the final and title to Andhra for the first time in nearly 15 years. Geeta can be devastating when she gets going because she unleashes power-packed cross court shots. In women's volleyball that is a deadly weapon against any team. Hailing from Andhra she started her career there, but she has been Railways' main pillar for nearly a decade now. She has taken Salomi Rani's place.

Setter Sunitha from Tamil Nadu has also given a long and sustained performance for Southern Railway and Railways.