Viswanathan Anand, Bhaichung Bhutia On Favorite sporting Moments of 2021
MUMBAI (IANS) – Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand and football legend Bhaichung Bhutia shared their favorite sporting moments from 2021 that saw India making giant strides in the world of sports.
“My favorite sporting moment of 2021 would have to be Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal win at the Tokyo Olympics. There was much to appreciate in Indian sports, there were many athletes we can celebrate and there were lots of wonderful stories in 2021. But, you have to recognise that sports is not only about athletes and the challenges they face, but also about the stage in which it happens,” he said.
Anand who became the first grandmaster from India in 1988 and is one of the few players to have surpassed an Elo rating of 2800, a feat he first achieved in 2006, also picks the Indian men’s hockey team’s bronze medal win in Tokyo Games his favorite.
“My other favorite is the Indian men’s hockey team’s bronze medal win. Hockey is part of India’s sporting history, but to be honest it hasn’t quite worked out that way in recent times. I will admit to a little bit of surprise, and I am sure those within the sports – they have seen it coming a bit longer – than those who are outside, but it was a beautiful surprise to suddenly realise that we are this good again,” Anand stated.
Bhutia agreed with chess wizard Anand, saying Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal and Indian men’s hockey team’s bronze medal win were his favorite sporting moments in 2021.
“My favorite sporting moment in 2021 was Neeraj Chopra winning the gold medal in the javelin throw. It was the first time India got gold in athletics, and another one was the Indian hockey team getting the bronze medal,” said the former India football captain.
Speaking about his role as the jury member and the process of selecting winners for the Sportstar Aces Awards, the five-time world chess champion Anand said that deciding the winner should never be easy for the jury and that should be part of the challenge. However, Bhutia opined that selecting winners for the annual awards was a bit easier because of the Olympics.