India was arguably the most prepared for the 2020 Olympics as all the athletes were in top form and were ranked one or two in many of the games that India contested. Deepika Kumari was ranked number 1 in the world but couldn’t go past quarters. Likewise, all the other archers that took part in Olympics couldn’t even qualify for the medal match. Shooting looked most promising with 15 shooters and some of them have won maximum medals at the recently concluded ISSF World Cup.
However, at the Olympics, they underperformed from what they have performed even at the practice sessions. Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary were the biggest medal hopes for India but Manu couldn’t even qualify for the finals. Saurabh entered the finals with a top qualification score but all in vain as he was 7th in the finals out of the 8.
In boxing, Amit Panghal was the top-ranked boxer in his category but lost in the round of 16. All the other male boxers other than Satish Shah lost in the first round. Mary Kom too couldn’t go past the round of 16. This was also her last Olympics as she has bid adieu to box after her round of 16 matches. In athletics too apart from Kamlapreet Kaur, there were no positives as each one of them was at the bottom half of their heat.
India even sent 5 swimmers and none of them qualified for the finals. It was the talk that India will better the London Olympics tally but as of now, it looks unlikely. The biggest upset for the Indian contingent was PV Sindhu’s loss in the Semi-Finals. She was up against the world number 1 and lost in straight sets. A medal hope is still there, as she will be participating in the bronze medal match on Sunday. Thus far only 2 medals are confirmed and if Sindhu wins tomorrow, it will be India’s third. No male athlete has won a medal for India in this Olympics thus far and chances for them winning are bleak but as an Indian, we are hopeful of a turnaround.
Among the events left, Wrestling is India’s stronghold and at least 2 medals from there are expected. A turnaround is not discarded but still, India will have to look back and change things quickly. The best in the world are already hired and India should virtually be looking at 2028 now. PV Sindhu will be 30 in her next Olympics and performance might dip.
Among youngsters, two teenage shooters, Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary will have to pull up their socks and come back strong at Paris. India will have to set up a task force and identify the sports they are good at. In track and field events even the personal best of Indian players is not good enough to qualify for the finals. India should look at its stronghold and invest only in those sports. Many countries do that as they sent their teams only for few sports but they make sure they win medals in those sports.