09 April 2015

Indian athletes prepare to head to Turkey

It’s often agreed in academic circles that one of the countries consistently neglected in the global understanding of the Battle of Gallipoli is India.

Local reports in India suggest between 1914 and 1918, the country sent around 1.3 million men overseas to fight for the British Empire.

Of them, it’s thought somewhere between 5,000 to 15,000 fought at Gallipoli in 1915.

Now, 100 years later, more than 50 athletes from India will travel to Turkey to compete in the inaugural Gallipoli Games.

One of the athletes is university tennis player Elwin Antony.

“It is a great honour to represent my college and my country in these games,” he says.

“Gallipoli signifies the opportunity for all us athletes to come together in one common sporting arena and represent our country and do our best in our fields.”

Elwin’s been playing tennis since the age of 10.

“My dad was an athlete in his hay days and that motivated me to take up a sport,” he says.

“I have always looked up to Swiss tennis star Roger Federer. He is my role model. He is such a class act both on and off the court.”

It’s estimated that 10 per cent of Indian army personnel who fought at Gallipoli died in battle.

Elwin says the entire Indian team is looking forward to visiting Turkey and taking part in the Games.

“I have seen alot of Turkey in various movies and ever since then I have had the urge to visit,” he says.