50% of Tokyo Olympics is over — How has India performed?
It has been eight days since the Tokyo Olympics officially began, and we are already halfway through to the world's biggest sporting spectacle. Here's a look at how India has performed.
It has been eight days since the Tokyo Olympics officially began, and we are already halfway through to the world's biggest sporting spectacle.
From protests against the Olympics to Covid-19 scares, and from some inspiring stories to some really brutal heartbreaks – the world of sports has seen everything in the past few days.
There have been some very important lessons learnt as well. The three most notable being the following:
i) There is nothing more important than your MENTAL HEALTH (Thank You Simone Biles for this)
ii) Being World Number 1 or being Top Seeds DOES NOT assure you of an Olympic medal (Thanking Naomi Osaka, Kento Momota, Novak Djokovic, Amit Panghal and many others for this)
iii) NEVER TRUST experts or statistical organisations who predict countless medals for India (You know whom to thank)
When one glances back one feels that the past eight days have flown by, but on second thought it feels as it has been ages since the Tokyo Olympics started.
Well, this is probably because of the kind of campaign India has endured. While Mirabai Chanu's silver looks like something that happened in the last berth, the wounds inflicted by the Indian shooters on our hearts are still afresh.
The first half of the Tokyo Olympics has been a mixed bag for India. There sure were a lot of disappointments, but they are kind of overshadowed by the fact that India would, at the very worst, equal its medal tally from Rio de Janeiro and still has an opportunity to better it.
Weightlifting has by far been India's best sport at the Tokyo Olympics. The only Indian representation in the sport, Mirabai Chanu, ensured that the country opens its account in Tokyo on the very first day with a silver.
The Indian table tennis contingent has been one of the biggest surprises for India in the first half of the Tokyo Olympics. While the Indians started their campaign in the sport on a disastrous note with the Mixed doubles pair exiting in the very first round, things did get better. Sutirtha Mukherjee registered a wonderful come from behind victory in the very first round of singles, while Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra ensured that India reached round 3 of singles in table tennis for the first time in their Olympic history.
Archery, as has been the norm, was disappointing for India. Both the men's and the mixed team reached the quarterfinals but failed to get past the hurdle. Yes, Deepika Kumari did become the first Indian to reach the quarterfinal in the individual section and Pravin Jadhav shone during his debut, but was it enough?
Shooting has, undoubtedly, been the biggest letdown for India during the Tokyo Olympics. Yes, it is one of the most unpredictable sports played at the Olympics, but all the Indian shooters apart from Saurabh Chaudhary put up a shambolic show at the Asaka Shooting Range. Yes, the men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions is yet to commence, but it does not look promising there either.
Tennis, like always, provided the much-needed drama ahead of the Olympics. There was a war of words between the players and administration, but in the end nothing mattered. The women's doubles pair exited in the first round, and the country did not have any representation in Mixed doubles. Competing in men's singles Sumit Nagal stood as the lone star for India in tennis.
Much like the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, India's only saving grace in Tokyo has been the women's single star PV Sindhu. While Sindhu clinched silver in Rio, she can at maximum win a bronze in Tokyo having lost the semifinal to Tai Tzu Ying earlier today. The other Indians in the fray failed to get past the group stages.
Four Indian sailors – the highest in country's history, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. And all four of them sailed above the expectations. While Vishnu Sarvanan finished 20th overall, Nethra Kumanan took the 35th position and the men's 49er pair of KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar ended 17th.
The Indian men's lightweight doubles sculls pair of Arvind Singh and Arjun Jat created history by becoming the first rowers from the country to qualify for the semifinals at the Olympics and finished 11th overall.
Seven out of nine Indian boxers who had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics have already been knocked out, including five in their very first bout. Yes, Lovlina Borgohain has assured a medal by qualifying for the semifinal and Satish Kumar is still in contention, but there surely was a lot more the taking for India.
India had a representation in the sport of Fencing for the first time in their Olympic history. And Bhavani Devi, quite certainly, made it count by winning her first match. Though she fell to a defeat immediately after against the world number 3, her performance has surely been one of the best moments for India in Tokyo so far.
Fouaad Mirza, the first Indian equestrian at the Olympics in more than 20 years, has started off well and is ranked well inside the top 10 after the dressage event. There is still a lot to play for Mirza and he will be eyeing to leave a mark in the coming days.
Athletics, at the Tokyo Olympics, started just two days back. So, the sample size to judge India's performance in the event is quite less. The positive for sure has been Kamalpreet Kaur's entry into the final and the Indian fans would certainly be hoping for her to continue her form in the Women's Discus Throw Final.
India's sole representation in gymnastics, Pranati Nayak, finished in the bottom half of the Women's individual qualifying round last week. In fact, Pranati did not even perform her second vault due to apparent lack of confidence.
Two Indian swimmers, Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj created history by earning the 'A' qualification cut for the Olympics, while Maana Patel joined them via universality quota. All three of the team failed to go past the heats but provided a good account of themselves in Tokyo.
The only Indian judoka in action at the Tokyo Olympics, Sushila Devi, bowed out of the Games falling to a defeat against Hungarian Eva Csernoviczki in her very first bout.
Both the Indian hockey teams, men's and women's, have done exceedingly well to make their way into the quarterfinals. The women's team, in fact, qualified for the quarterfinal at the Olympics for the first time in 41 years.