Dubai resident Anirban Lahiri proAud to represent India at 2023 Asian Games

Everyone dreams of winning a green jacket or standing on a podium with the national anthem playing, says the Arjuna Award recipient

By Nick Tarratt/KT Guest Golf Writer

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Anirban Lahiri of India  — AFP file
Anirban Lahiri of India — AFP file

Published: Sun 3 Sep 2023, 5:20 PM

Last updated: Tue 12 Sep 2023, 6:48 PM

Dubai-based golfer Anirban Lahiri hopes to cause a "ripple" when he represents India in golf in the forthcoming Asian Games in China.

The 36-year-old Dubai Golden VISA Awardee will be joined in the men’s golf team event by Shubhankar Sharma, Khalin Joshi and SSP Chawrasia in the Indian team.

The Asian Games golf tournament will be held from September 23 to October 8 at West Lake International Golf Course, located in Xihu District, Hangzhou, China.

“I played in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, where India achieved a silver medal and South Korea the gold. I played alongside fellow Dubai Golden VISA Awardee Gaganjeet Bhullar,” Lahiri told Khaleej Times.

“I was approached about 18 months ago by the Indian Golf Union (IGU) to represent India at golf in the 2023 Asian Games. Winning an Olympic or Asian Games gold medal would be a bigger deal in India than me winning on the LIV Tour or Asian Tour,” he added.

"It would send a huge ripple through the game of golf throughout India.”

Lahiri turned professional in 2007 and joined the Asian Tour in 2008. He is also a winner of the prestigious 2014 Arjuna Award, the second-highest sporting honour in India.

“Traditionally the Asian Games has been an amateur-only event but now it is open to professionals as well,” he said. “I never thought I would play again in the Asian Games after my 2006 cap.

“In my 16 years as a professional I have only represented my country a handful of times: playing in two World Cups of golf and in two Olympic Games,” said Lahiri, who has posted 18 pro wins on the tour.

“I have come from an army family background so playing under the flag of India and national patriotism has always been very important to me.

“Everyone dreams of winning a green jacket or standing on a podium with the national anthem playing,” he added.

Anirban Lahiri playing on the LIV Golf Tour recently at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in Saudi Arabia. - Supplied photo
Anirban Lahiri playing on the LIV Golf Tour recently at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in Saudi Arabia. - Supplied photo

The format for the men’s tournament is the best three scores from a team of four over the four rounds and for the ladies' tournament, the best two scores from a team of three players each day.

The Asian Games is a continental multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia.

Since the 1982 Games, they have been organised by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), after the breakup of the Asian Games Federation.

The Games are recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and are described as the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.

Indian squad for Asian Games golf event

Men:

  • Anirban Lahiri
  • Shubhankar Sharma
  • Khalin Joshi
  • SSP Chawrasia

Ladies:

  • Aditi Ashok
  • Pranavi Urs
  • Avandi Prashanth

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