|Difficult Word/ Phrase||Contextual Sense|
|Allure||The power to entice or attract through personal charm|
|Allude||Make a more or less disguised reference to|
|Yardstick||A measure or standard used for comparison|
|Notch||an imaginary point or position in a comparison of amounts or values|
|Quadrennial||Occurring once in four years|
|Pit||Set into opposition or rivalry|
|Disparate||Fundamentally different or distinct in quality or kind|
|Haul||the amount gained, won, earned, etc. at one time|
|Etch||to imprint vividly|
|Derail||reduce or delay the chances for success or development of|
|Cherish||Be fond of|
|Cope||Succeed in doing, achieving, or producing (something) with the limited or inadequate means available|
|Catch the eye||to get someone’s attention|
|Reiterate||To say, state, or perform again|
|Encore||An extra or repeated performance; usually given in response to audience demand|
|annex||Take (territory) as if by conquest|
Shared history: On the Commonwealth Games
India did well at the Commonwealth Games that is increasingly losing its allure (The power to entice or attract through personal charm)
The Commonwealth Games (CWG), alluding (Make a more or less disguised reference to) to a happily ever-after between England and its former colonies, may have its legacy (heritage) issues. And in terms of the competitive yardstick (A measure or standard used for comparison), with the obvious absence of the United States of America, Russia and China, the CWG is considered a notch (an imaginary point or position in a comparison of amounts or values) below the Olympics and the Asian Games. Yet, the CWG has a certain value in being a multi-nation quadrennial (Occurring once in four years) event that pits (Set into opposition or rivalry) a disparate (Fundamentally different or distinct in quality or kind) group of countries split by continents and fused (Joining together) by a shared past linked to the British Empire. It offers athletes one more shot at glory besides inspiring their fans to pursue sport with added vigour (Forceful exertion). In the latest edition that concluded at Birmingham on Monday, India with a medal haul (the amount gained, won, earned, etc. at one time) of 61, inclusive of 22 golds, was placed fourth while Australia, host England and Canada led the charts. With shooting excluded from the CWG, India lost out on an additional yield. Most Indian medals told a tale etched (to imprint vividly) by hope, diligence and hard work. If Sharath Kamal’s table tennis exploits, even at 40, proved that sportspersons can fight the dimming light, weightlifter Sanket Sargar’s silver in the men’s 55kg segment, showed that financial difficulties cannot derail (reduce or delay the chances for success or development of) a focused athlete. Four years ago, Sanket used to sell paan from a tiny shop at Sangli in Maharashtra, and his is a story that needs to be cherished (be fond of).
Similar is the personal history linked to weightlifter Achinta Sheuli, who won gold in the 73kg division. Achinta, his brother Alok and mother did embroidery (Decorative needlework). The siblings also worked in the fields, fighting poverty and coping (Succeed in doing, achieving, or producing (something) with the limited or inadequate means available) with the demise of their father. Like Sanket, Achinta’s too is a story of hope and redemption (recovery). If fresh athletes caught the eye (to get someone’s attention) with their triumph over tough circumstances, the established ones reiterated (To say, state, or perform again) their dominance too. P.V. Sindhu, who will now be counted among India’s greatest ever athletes, won gold in the badminton women’s singles while her male counterpart Lakshya Sen did an encore (An extra or repeated performance; usually given in response to audience demand). Fresh territories were annexed (Take (territory) as if by conquest) too as in a field always dominated by the Africans, Avinash Sable won silver in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. Boxer Nikhat Zareen again landed a solid punch for women-power while her colleague Lovlina Borgohain’s failure and the issues surrounding her personal coach in the lead-up to the CWG, revealed faultlines. Medals were secured in hockey and women’s cricket but they were not gold and the respective squads displayed fragility in crunch situations. That sport is not always war minus the shooting was evident when Neeraj Chopra effusively praised Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem, who won gold in the men’s javelin. The latest success in the CWG, should hold the Indian athletes in good stead as they prepare for next year’s Asian Games in China.
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