Friday turned out to be memorable day for the Indians as the country secured its second medal in the ongoing Tokyo Olympic Games.
Tokyo Olympics 2020 enters its second half with day 8, as athletics and other key outdoor events have started taking the spotlight. A number of indoor events are coming to an end, with USA, Japan and China still caught up in a feisty battle for the No.1 spot.
India has just assured its second medal in the ongoing Games. It will not be long before they confirm which one, with boxer Lovlina Borgohain assured of a medal after advancing to the semi-finals bout. Other Indian athletes continue to strive for medals at the Tokyo Olympics, with day 8 proving to be rewarding for some, while crushing for others.
All eyes were on female boxer Lovlina Borgohain in the welterweight category on Friday, and she didn’t disappoint! She faced a formidable opposition in Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien-chin. Lovlina started attacking right from the start and absolutely dominated her opponent. She picked up a big 4-1 win to progress to the semi-finals. She’s now guaranteed at least a bronze medal or better.
However, Simranjeet Kaur couldn’t replicate Lovlina’s heroics in the lightweight round of 16 clash against Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee. She lost the game 0-5 to get knocked out of the Olympics.
India’s medal aspirant PV Sindhu prevailed in a hard-fought battle against world no.5 Akane Yamaguchi in Badminton Women’s singles Quarter-finals. She defeated her opponent in straight sets, 21-13, 22-20 in a 56-minutes clash. Sindhu saved two game points in the second game and made a remarkable comeback to move into the semi-finals & one step closer to an Olympic medal!
It was a disappointing day for the ladies in the women’s 25m pistol qualification for the knockout rounds. Young shooter Manu Bhaker made a valiant effort, but came out short and couldn’t make it to the final eight. She scored 582 points, but was only able to finish on 15th place. Rahi Sarnobat also suffered a similar fate, being knocked out after being placed in the 32nd place with 573 points.
Deepika Kumari started the day as India’s only hope in Archery Women’s category. She faced tough competition from ROC’s Ksenia Perova in the 1/16 round. What transpired was an absolute thriller, which Kumari won via tie-break to clinch the victory 6-5 and progress to the quarter-finals.
However, she couldn’t match up to South Korean An San, facing a heavy 0-6 defeat despite a valiant effort – ending the world no.1’s hopes of bagging an Olympic medal.
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The day started in an emphatic fashion for Indian hockey as the women’s team prevailed against the Ireland women’s team. A goal from Navneet Kaur was enough to give India a gritty 1-0 win in their group stages game and kept up dreams of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
On the other hand, the Indian men’s hockey team hammered hosts Japan in memorable fashion later in day 8 in the Tokyo Olympics. The scorecard read 2-5 in favour of the Men in Blue. Harmanpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh (brace), Nilakanta Sharma and Shamsher Singh scored the goals for India.
The Men’s 3000m steeplechase started off the athletics events for Indian athletes, with Avinash Sable representing the country. The Indian started the race really well, taking an early lead but then fell down to seventh place.
Kenyan star Abraham Kibiwott won the race, but stable finished with a national Olympic record of 8:18:12. However, Sable made a valiant effort despite not qualifying for the final. He was also the fastest competitor not to qualify for the final, with three athletes slower than him competing in the final!
World no.27 MP Jabir was involved in the 400m hurdles Round 1 event, but had a very disappointing outing. He finished in the last place with a timing of 50.77, being unable to qualify for the final.
In the Women’s 100m, Indian star Dutee Chand also had a similar disappointment. She also finished in seventh place with a timing of 11:54, failing to qualify for the finals.
The 4x400m mixed relay event proved to be a disappointment for India. Muhammad Anas Yahiya, Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan and Rajiv Arokia formed the team. They finished last in Heat 2 with a timing of 3:19.93 minutes. This was 9.45 seconds behind leaders Poland, and even a significant 4.04 seconds behind 7th placed Brazil.
In the Women’s Radial final qualifying races, Indian sailor Nethra Kumanan had a disappointing run. She finished 37th in Race 9 and 38th in Race 10, finishing 35th overall and failing to qualify for the medals race.
The Indian duo of Varun Thakkar and Ganapathy Kelapanda had a decent start to the day in the Men’s Skiff 49er, finishing in 11th place in Race 8. However, they then fell off to 18th place in Race 9 and look very unlikely to qualify for the medals race.
In race 8, Vishnu Saravanan came 15th. But he made a fantastic comeback in Race 9, where he surprised everyone to finish the third spot.
The Indian golf pair of Anirban Lahiri and Udayan Mane continued their work in the Individual Stroke Play event. The two couldn’t really thrive under the pressure, with Lahiri finishing Friday on T20 in the leaderboard and Mane in T57.
In day 1 of the dressage round of the Fouaad Mirza finished with a pretty impressive 28 penalty points. This score means that at the end of the Friday’s leg where 42 riders too part, Mirza finished at the seventh spot.