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Not the Olympics | Day 7: A chance for Deepika to win that elusive medal

Not the Olympics | Day 7: A chance for Deepika to win that elusive medal

Md Imtiaz

Published: 30 July 2020 11:02 AM GMT

Four months after the International Olympic Committee and officials in Japan postponed the Games amid soaring coronavirus infection rates and lockdowns across the world, uncertainty prevails. The unpredictable nature of the virus is making it impossible for officials to say definitively that the Games will happen or, if they do, what they might look like. Though we are missing the fervour of the quadrennial event, we are soaked in the Olympic spirit. For the next two weeks, we will be writing a series of article with the title “What if Olympic Happened”, where we will hypothetically discuss the day-wise performances of the Indian athletes, which were actually scheduled in the Olympics 2020 roster.

Day 7: 30 July 2020

Today would have been the seventh day at the Olympics, India could have been a part of several crucial matches lined up


With as many as 15 Indian shooters having secured quota places, India is all set to send its largest-ever shooting contingent to Tokyo. On Day 6, 25m Pistol Women's Q/F Stage was supposed to be held. Rahi Sarnobat and Chinki Yadav were on the radar for the event.

Rahi Sarnobat Rahi Sarnobat

Rahi Sarnobat booked an Olympic berth for India with a gold in women’s 25m pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Munich. In 2012, Rahi became the first Indian shooter to qualify for the 25 m pistol event at the Olympics, where she could only finish 19th. Rahi, who won a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup 2013 in Changwon, shot a total of 37 to claim the top honours.

On the other hand, Chinki Yadav earned another quota in the same event at the Asian Shooting Championship as she finished sixth in the finals. In qualification, she shot an exceptional 296 to reach a total of 588 and made it to the Final. She came behind Thailand’s Naphaswan Yangpainboon, who shot 590 to finish at the top.The 21-yr-old daughter of an electrician from Bhopal, Chinki, won the quota for India as four shooters out of eight in Final already had quota and Chinki was among rest four finalists eligible for quota.

Chances of winning a medal - 80%

Table Tennis

India's table tennis aspirations for the 2020 Olympics suffered a setback after both their men’s and women’s teams failed to secure qualification for the Tokyo Games. In the men's singles category, the two possible contenders could have been the veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran. India can still harbour qualification hopes in the singles and mixed doubles events when they participate in the next qualification event before the Tokyo Olympics.

Sathiyan and Sharath Source : Sathiyan/Twitter) Sathiyan and Sharath Source : Sathiyan/Twitter)

Sharath Kamal participation itself kind of historical. One of the highlights for Indian table tennis in the initial few months of the season was Sharath's return to form. For a man chasing his elusive Olympic glory, the veteran paddler was showing signs of some top-notch form when the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill. Sharath had decided to make the trip Muscat for the Oman Open -- the last event before the ITTF Tour was suspended. With the meet in Oman being an ITTF Challenge Plus event and Sharath Kamal riding high on form following a silver medal show in men’s doubles at the Hungarian Open, the 37-year-old was keen to make the most of the opportunity.

Sathiyan, on the other hand, has started to overcome the shadow of Sharath. Sathiyan has locked his eyes on three achievements: winning an Olympic medal, breaking into the world’s top-10 and beating a top Chinese player. He is ranked 31st in the men’s singles currently, making him the highest-ranked Indian table tennis player, and incidentally, also enough to take him through to the Tokyo Olympics. If 2018 witnessed him make major breakthroughs at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Team Championships, 2019 has been about consolidating his place in the top 30 in the world and upsetting some of the biggest names in the sport. And it was fitting, perhaps, that he made waves in the season-ending World Cup where he reached the knock out stages.

Chances of winning medal: 30%


India already has four archery representatives who have already earned a quota place for the Games. With Deepika Kumari being the only female archer of the group, India can field a team in the mixed team and men’s team events besides the individual categories. Day 7 of the Games, would have women's singles event lined up.

Deepika Kumari Deepika Kumari (Image: She The People)

Two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Deepika Kumari has had a largely forgettable 2019, finishing ninth in the 2019 Berlin Archery World Cup as well as the 2019 Antalya World Cup. Her last gold medal at a major competition came in the 2018 Salt Lake City Archery World Cup. Despite her poor form of late, Kumari has time and again shown her class and quality on the big stage and has six World Cup gold medals to her name. She claimed a silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 test event a few months back, rising to the occasion when called upon. The former world no. 1 archer won gold in the women’s recurve event at the Olympic qualifying Asian Archery event in Bangkok, beating compatriot Ankita Bhakat 6-0 in an all-Indian final. Deepika was the one who raised the question of wanting a psychiatrist in the team. So it's clear, she is struggling mentally in big events. After 2 failed Olympics, if Deepika learnt the art of performing under pressure - then there is nothing to stop her.

Chances of winning a medal - 60%

Graphical representation Graphical representation


Athletics is, without doubt, one of the most significant events of the Olympics. On Day 7 of the games, men's 10,000 m final would have been held apart from the Mixed 4 x 400m Relay Round 1.

No one from India had qualified for the men's 10,000 events. However, the only possible contender would have been Murali Kumar Gavit. The 23-year-old is the best bet, who dethroned G Lakshmanan in 5k-10k event record in Indian circuit, he won bronze in 2019 Athletics Championships with a personal best timing of 28:38.34.

For the 10,000m, 20km race walk, combined events, and relays, the entry standards period and world rankings period have also been extended from 1 December 2020 up to 29 June 2021 (22 months).

The most significant event of the Day would have been Mixed 4 x 400m Relay Round 1. Muhammed Anas, Rajiv Arokia, Jisna Matthew, Hima Das would have participated in the event. Finishing in top-8 in world's gave them the Olympic quota, so one can expect them to be in finals. For a long time - India's waiting for a medal in athletics at the Olympics. The dream might take a launch if this relay team could give a fine start on day-on round 1.

Chances of winning medal: 10%


As like Bhavani Devi in fencing - we have Fouaad Mirza, whose qualification itself historic. Double Asian Games medallist equestrian Fouaad Mirza officially became the first Indian to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, ending a wait spanning two decades. As per the latest rankings issued by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), which include all results between January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, Mirza's Tokyo Games qualification has been confirmed.

Other events on day 7 and possible contenders:


Men pool A: India vs Japan


Women Singles QF: PV Sindhu

Men Doubles SF: Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty

Mixed doubles F: Ashwini Ponappa/Satwik Chirag


Women's Light (57-60kg) RD16: Simranjit Kaur

Women's Welter (64-69kg) QF: Lovlina Borgohain

Men's Welter (63-69kg) QF: Vikas Krishan Yadav


Men's Individual Stroke Play RD 2: Rashid Khan, Udayan Mane


Men's 3000m Steeplechase Round 1: Avinash Sable

Women's 5000m Round 1: Sanjivani Jadhav/Parul Chaudhary

Women's 100m Round 1: Dutee Chand

Men's 400m Hurdles Round 1: M P Jabir

Also read: Not the Olympics | Day 5: Sania Mirza in quarterfinals actions

Also read: Not the Olympics | Day 6: Manika Batra’s surprise package in table tennis

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