The first few days have been more disappointing for Indians at the Rio Olympics and are yet to open their medals account. A round-up of how the top Indian sportspersons have performed in the 2016 Summer Olympics till date.
1. Abhinav Bindra ends career with a 4th place finish
India’s flagbearer Abhinav Bindra had to settle for a fourth place finish in 10m air rifle event, missing bronze by 0.5 in the tiebreak after finishing level with Serhiy Kulish of Ukraine.
Pushed to the corner, the man made a series of focused shots after dropping outside the top 10 to seal a qualification to the final by shooting 10.8 thrice (out of a possible 10.9) in the final five shots.
“It is my job to be composed. I do not want to break down in front of you. I knew this was coming and I am at peace with it,” said Bindra on his retirement.
“I did my best but ended up fourth. No medal but very close. Had a good day, but it didn’t pay off,” the ace shooter told reporters after the end of his event at Rio Olympics.
Gagan Narang finished 23rd. Heena Sidhu failed to qualify for the final of women’s 10m air pistol event.
2. Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna exit in first round
Polish pairing of Lukasz Kubot and Marcin Matkowski triumphed in straight sets over Leander Paes-Rohan Bopanna duo 6-4, 7-6. Paes, India’s tennis icon, shot back at the detractors who blamed his strained association with Bopanna for the loss.
There were allegations that Paes arrived only on August 4 for he was unwilling to share a room with Bopanna.
“It should have been about celebrating a career. I am in a position of being the soft target, so a lot of guys wanna (sic) take shots at me. Fine, go for it. I am also just another human being, trying my best. But Leander is soft target. I will keep going as I am resilient. I know a lot of stories are being fed,” Paes said.
3. Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare lose in first round
World No.1 women’s doubles star Sania Mirza couldn’t go past the first round at Rio. In a match that stretched 2 hours and 44 minutes, Indian women lost 6-7, 7-5, 7-5 to Chinese duo of Shuai Zhang and Shuai Peng.
“India always wants gold for me no matter what I play. At the end of the day, we can just try. There is no guarantee in a sport. We can just try and give our best,” Sania said at the end of the match.
The 29-year-old now hopes to win a medal for India in the mixed doubles category alongside Rohan Bopanna.
4. Dipa Karmakar in gymnastics final
One of the few positives for India so far. The woman who celebrates her 23rd birthday on Tuesday has qualified for the vault finals on August 14.
“I’ve removed the SIM card from her mobile. Only parents are allowed to talk to her. I don’t want her to lose focus,” coach Bishweshwar Nandi who has put the athlete in house arrest said.
Dipa is the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for Olympics.
“Her birthday celebration can wait for the moment. It’s only her parents who are allowed to talk to her at the moment during the small breaks I give her.”
“But she does not miss it. She likes to stay aloof from friends, her friends circle is very small, thanks to her tough regimen in gymnastics,” Nandi said of Dipa.
5. Indian archers fail against tough opponents
Indian women team of Laxmirani Majhi, Bombayla Laishram, Deepika Kumari ran into world champions Russia in the quarter-final and could progress beyond that stage. With the teams tied at two sets and four points each, the shoot-off resulted in favor of Russians 25-23 in a closely contested event.
The game ended 55-48, 53-52, 53-50, 55-54, 25-23 ending India’s campaign.