With just 1 medal in 10 days and another one confirmed yesterday, Indians will have to pull up their socks as we have entered the business end of the Olympics. Day 10 started on a negative note as Atanu Das and number one boxer Amit Panghal have lost their matches early in the day.
Anirban Lahiri is trailing and our athletic and shooting events were among the biggest duds of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Some positive though as Lovlina Borgohain has already been assured of a medal and that means we only have 2 thus far at the marque event. India’s Men’s hockey team will take on Great Britain in the quarterfinal will more or less assure a medal in Men’s hockey. The women’s Hockey team has just qualified for the quarter-finals after 3 heavy defeats.
One good thing that came in the morning was that Kamalpreet Kaur has qualified for the finals of Discuss Throw. No other Indian athlete has ever crossed the qualification rounds and with a distance of 64mtrs, she was second in the standings overall. The top 12 were through and she was the second-best. A medal is expected from her as she has been throwing exceptionally well and her coach has already said that will throw over 65mtrs in the finals. If that happens, a medal in discus throw will be India’s biggest victory for the Indian campaign.
Women’s 50m rifle 3 positions was again a poor show and with just one more event left in shooting, the largest contingent and the biggest medal prospect of India has arguably been the biggest disappointment. PV Sindhu has marched along nicely and will be up against world number 1 later in the day. Even if she loses, she will be up for a bronze match and that means a medal from her is more or less guaranteed.
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Among the events left, Satish Kumar fought with heart in his previous match but it won’t be easy for him to go through. However, if he does, then he may well be the first man from the Indian contingent to bring the medal home. Wrestling was the biggest hope after shooting and with 8 wrestlers, one can expect a medal from Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat at least. Vinesh is ranked number 1 while Bajrang is ranked number 2. Hopes are lying high from those 2 Haryanvi athletes and they will have to live up to the expectation so that India can finish off their campaign on high.
Neeraj Chopra the star Javelin thrower has been short of preparations but that won’t count as an excuse at the Olympics. He is currently ranked number 4th and a throw of 90meters will be required from him to get the medal. These are some of the medal hopes left from the Indian contingent and even if half of them win it, we will stand at 5 medals which would be less than India’s best show at London Olympics where India won 6 medals. Fingers crossed so that India crosses that mark and gives the next generation some hope of building a career beyond academics.