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Tokyo Olympics Day 12 Preview: Hockey men to face Belgium in semis, Tajinder in action

Published at :August 2, 2021 at 6:43 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : Indian Express / Bhaskar Live/ Wikipedia/Khel Now)


The first Indian amongst the wrestling contingent will also begin her campaign.

Tokyo Olympics Day 12 will once again witness several high-profile Indian athletes in action. On Tuesday, a few of the Indian medal hopefuls will be seen at Tokyo 2020. The Indian men's hockey team has undergone a resurgence in the last couple of years. They are all set to play a historic semi-final clash at the Tokyo Olympics.

Apart from the men's hockey team, medal hopeful Tajinderpal Singh Toor will also be seen in action in the qualifications of the shot put event. On the other hand, promising wrestler Sonam Malik is all set to make her debut Olympic appearance. Here is a preview of all Indian action on day 12 of Tokyo Olympics.

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Athletics: Women’s Javelin Throw Qualifications

Annu Rani will represent India in the women's javelin throw event. She has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics on the basis of the world rankings. The 28-year-old is the greatest female javelin thrower that the country has ever produced. Rani has broken the national record eight times. In addition, she is also the first Indian female javelin thrower to participate in the World Athletics Championships. Rani also became the first Indian woman to go beyond the 60-meter mark in the javelin throw.

The girl from Meerut is held in very high regard in the Indian athletics scenario. Even the legendary P.T. Usha has said that Annu Rani has the potential to achieve a podium finish. Rani is all set to become only the second Indian javelin thrower to compete at the Olympic Games, after Gurmeet Kaur at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The Group A qualifications will begin at 5:50 AM IST and the Group B qualifications start at 7:20 AM IST.

ALSO READ: Who are India’s realistic hopes for a Tokyo Olympics medal after Day 10?

Men’s Hockey Semi-final: India Vs Belgium

The Men in Blue had entered the Tokyo Olympics as genuine medal contenders. They have lived up to the reputation under the stewardship of Graham Reid. The Manpreet Singh-led side started with a closely fought victory over New Zealand. However, the Indians were thumped by a strong Australian side in their second match. Team India bounced back with wins over Spain, defending champions Argentina and hosts Japan to finish the pool stages on a high.

After that, the Indian team defeated Great Britain 3-1 in the quarterfinals to book a spot in the semi-finals for the first time since the 1980 Moscow Olympics. In addition, it was also India's first victory over Great Britain at the Olympics since 1972. The Indians will now face a tough challenge against reigning world champions Belgium in the semis.

The enticing semi-final contest will begin at 7:00 AM IST.

Wrestling: Women’s Freestyle 62kg

Sonam Malik set the country buzzing by becoming the youngest Indian woman wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games. The 19-year-old won plenty of plaudits including from ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat. She has beaten Rio 2016 bronze medalist Sakshi Malik several times, which goes to show her immense potential, irrespective of her age. Sonam had also won the World Cadet Wrestling Championships in her initial years.

Earlier this year, at the Asian Wrestling Championships, she ousted China’s Jia Long and Tsing Ping Pal of Chinese Taipei to reach the semis. Ayaulym Kassymova of Kazakhstan was taken down, but she decided not to fight in the final as she got injured. However, that was enough to confirm her spot in Tokyo and all eyes will be on her when she takes centre stage in the 62kg women’s freestyle wrestling.

The 1/8 finals round will begin at 8:00 AM IST.


Athletics: Men’s Shot Put Qualifications

Tajinderpal Singh Toor qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with a hefty throw of 21.49m at the Indian Athletics Grand Prix 4. The 26-year-old’s previous best was 20.92m. In fact, Toor went past the qualifying mark of 21.10m with each of his four legal puts.

Toor’s performance was pretty impressive at the Grand Prix. His throw of 21.49m would have been good enough for a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. American duo Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs had finished top of the pile with throws of 22.52m and 21.78m respectively. However, Toor’s throw would have eclipsed Tom Walsh of New Zealand, who had achieved 21.36m on that occasion.

Hailing from the Moga district of Punjab, Toor had previously won a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games. He will be hoping for another stunning showing in Tokyo, to bring home the country’s long-awaited maiden Olympic medal in athletics.

The Group A qualifications will begin at 3:45 PM IST and the Group B qualifications start at 5:10 PM IST.

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