Friday turned out to be a topsy-turvy day for the Indian athletes.
Only three more days remain until the end of Tokyo 2020 and Indian athletes are scurrying to get more medals on the board. After day 15 of the Tokyo Olympics, India has five medals – three bronze and two silver. There is, however, a chance to add to that, as quite a few athletes are still in contention to go all the way.
Thursday turned out to be a mixed bag of a day for India. The Indian women’s hockey team barely missed out on a bronze, while results in wrestling and athletics were topsy-turvy as well. The Indian athletes know they’ll have to work their hardest to get a few more medals in the final stretch of the Olympics.
The Indian women’s hockey team faced off against Great Britain in their bronze medal match on Thursday. The women fought valiantly through the match and after being 1-2 down initially, came back to lead 3-2 at the end of the second quarter.
However, things started to go down afterwards. Great Britain took control after the third quarter and scored two more goals to win the game 4-3 stopping India from getting bronze in both hockey events this year.
Seema Bisla started as the only hope for India in women’s wrestling on day 15 of the Tokyo Olympics after Vinesh Phogat and Anshu Malik’s elimination. However, she was unable to defeat Tunisia’s Sarra Hamdi, despite a valiant effort.
Bisla tried her best to defend in the first period, but was overpowered after that. Hamdi won the match 3-1 via technical superiority, knocking Bisla out of the Olympics.
In the men’s 65kg freestyle category, Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia made a successful start to his debut Olympics. He defeated Ernazar Akmataliev of Kyrgyzstan in his first match. The game ended in a draw but due to more points won on a single move, Bajrang managed to win the game.
The Indian wrestler, then, beat Iran’s Morteza Ghiasi in the 1/4 final. Punia was actually under pressure for the majority of the clash and under threat of losing it. However, he showed class by pulling off a remarkable late pinfall success, winning the bout 2-1.
In the semifinals, Bajrang went down fighting to Haji Aliyev. The Azerbaijani wrestler won the bout 12-5 via technical superiority. Bajrang will now play for the Bronze medal on Saturday.
Indian golfer Aditi Ashok is turning out to be a surprise contender for a medal in the women’s individual stroke play. At the end of Round 3 on day 15 of the Tokyo Olympics, she is positioned at 2nd place with 201.
Ashok is now a favourite to bag a silver medal but will have to continue his good work in the final medals round on Saturday. Diksha Dagar made some improvements in Round 3, but she continued to be T51 with 220 points.
Gurpreet Singh couldn’t complete the men’s 50km race-walk final, having to pull out after 35kms because of cramps. He was, as a result, disqualified from the standings. Poland’s Dawid Tomala won the race, while Germany’s Jonathan Hilbert (silver) and Canada’s Evan Dunfee (bronze) bagged the other medals.
India Priyanka Goswami finished in 17th place in the Women’s 20KM Race Walk final with a timing of 1:32:36. She showcased bright sparks throughout the race, even storming to the No.1 position after 8kms, but fell off afterwards. Italian runner Antonella Palmisano won the race and bagged the gold medal. Bhawna Jat finished the race in 32nd position with a timing of 1:37:38.
Muhammad Anas Yahiya, Amoj jacob, Noah Nirmal Tom and Rajiv Arokia were part of the team that represented India at the 4x400m men’s relay. Not much what expected of them, but what they went on to achieve was nothing short of remarkable.
They finished fourth in their heats with a timing of 3:00.25 seconds. This helped them create a new Asian record.
However, they narrowly missed out on qualification to the finals, as they finished at the sixth place overall, just one spot and 1.9 seconds behind the qualifying numbers.
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