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Sports anchor Mayanti stamps her mark at the Games

Last updated on: October 14, 2010 08:55 IST

'You are only as good as your next show'

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Harish Kotian

Mayanti Langer is a familiar face on television, having hosted several sports events over the last five years. But the Commonwealth Games has given her instant recognition. Senior Associate Editor Harish Kotian learns how the Delhi extravaganza has changed her life.

One person who has benefited immensely from the  2010 Commonwealth Games is sports anchor Mayanti Langer.

With her golden voice, charming personality and levels of energy that can liven up any show, she has shown an extraordinary ability to compliment beauty with brain.

Her stint with Doordarshan has added that extra zing to otherwise ordinary coverage on the national network and made her a household name. Having being proficient at sports in her younger days, she understands the technicality of various disciplines, a trait many sports anchors lack.

Mayanti comes from a famous family. Her father is Major General Sanjiv Langer, who worked in the United Nations, while her mother Preminda is an award-winning teacher.

In an e-mail interview with Senior Associate Editor Harish Kotian, the Delhi-based lady reveals her love for football and how the Commonwealth Games has changed her life.

You seem to have become an instant hit as anchor for the Delhi Games. Everywhere people seem to be recognizing you, asking for autographs and pictures. How does that feel?

Am I an instant hit??!! Of course, it's very flattering and I appreciate the interest. However, I don't let it get to my head, as you are only as good as your next show, and need to achieve the targets that I have set for myself.

Did you foresee such an impact?

I do have confidence in myself as an anchor, but one can never predict the outcome. Again, I really appreciate the faith and following I receive.


Image: Mayanti Langer

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'I relished the challenge'

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Have you had crazy fans come up to you, or any other strange experiences, since taking up the job at Doordarshan?

No crazy experiences so far!!

Would you say the Delhi Games is a success despite the many problems in the lead-up to the event?

Perhaps we should look into the organizational glitches post-games to prevent such problems in future. I am not the right person to judge how successful the Games have been, but I am impressed with the facilities I have seen.

I am also overjoyed at the success of our Indian athletes so far, especially in athletics and gymnastics where medals weren't expected.

How difficult is it to manage a mega-event like this, considering you have to speak on varied sporting disciplines?

I have never been involved in this sort of broadcast before, that too a multi-discipline event. However, I relished the challenge and have learnt a lot from this experience.

Do you understand all the sports played at the Games, including Lawn Bowls and Net Ball? If not, how do you manage?

I've managed to so far.


Image: Mayanti Langer

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'I'm a trained swimmer and have participated in football leagues in US'

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What did you do before starting off as a sports anchor?

Actually, I was in my final year at Hindu College. I started anchoring even before my results were declared, so I was fortunate to start so early! Needless to say, I passed!

How did it all start as sports anchor?

I was the primary football anchor at Zee Sports and started with European leagues before moving on to Indian football. Eventually, I was also given the opportunity to host cricket with the Indian Cricket League (ICL). Since leaving Zee, I have hosted the FIFA football World Cup and FIH Hockey World Cup, besides cricket, motorsport and marathons.

You seem to be particularly inclined towards football. How did your love for football start?

Growing up, my family was in New York for four years. I trained as a swimmer and participated in football leagues. Returning to India, the passion for football remained. I was keen to pursue the interest and started training with an academy in school. During my college years, I teamed up with that academy to co-ordinate a girls' football League. Almost immediately, I was offered the job with Zee.

Did you also play football in college?

Yes. I trained with the Super Soccer Academy.


Image: Mayanti Langer

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