The lead up to the Rio Olympics was just not up to the mark. It was marked by controversies, corruption, violence and god knows what not. But when the D Day came, it was all long forgotten and the Olympics spirit was seen among athletes and among the spectators. It began with a colorful opening ceremony that had so many wow factors. It showcased the history of Brazil that engulfed everyone with its high spirit.
The game began on 5th of August and boy what a shocking start it indeed was. Some unexpected results were seen on the very first day in the world of tennis
In the men’s section opening round, when 2009 US open champion Juan Martin Del Potro took on world number one Serbian Novak Djokovic, it was a repeat of 2012 London Olympics where Potro beat Djokovic to clinch the Bronze medal. The result was the same 4 years later. Potro knocked out the Serb in straight sets in a mouthwatering clash. But what was different this time around was the crowd.
The Crowd’s support was such that after two and half hours epic battle, both players were in tears. One was happy and the other dejected. One moved into the next round and the other now will have to wait for 4 more years.
Other player’s like Rafael Nadal after nursing his injury and Wimbledon Champion and defending gold medalist Andy Murray advanced into the next round.
Another shocker came in the women’s doubles section when Williams’ sisters tasted their first defeat at the Olympics. The defending gold medalist pair was shown the door by the Czech Republic combo of Lucy Safarova and Strycova in straight sets.
In the singles, it was a dead end for Venus Williams as she was crashed out in the first round. While younger sister Serena Williams reached the second round.
Indians at Tennis —
It was a disastrous start for the Indian contingent in tennis. Leander Paes playing a record 7th Olympics lost his opening match of the men’s doubles. Paes playing with Rohan Bopana crashed out in their opening match. They were defeated by the Polish combo of Matkowski and Kubut in straight sets.
Another bad news came from the women’s doubles section. Indian pair of Sania Mirza and debutant Prarthana Thambore too bowed out in the first round.
Indian women team of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Manjhi and Bombayla Devi put up a brave fight but could not go past beyond the quarterfinals. The Indian team lost to Russia by 2 points in a nail biting contest. South Korea won their eighth straight women’s team archery gold, beating Russia five set points to one in the final. Korean team now has won the event every time since its introduction in 1988, although Russia won the World Championships in 2015. Chinese Taipei took the bronze, beating Italy by five set points to three.
In the singles too, it was curtains for Lazmirani.
After a splendid show in the opening round against Ireland, the Indian men’s hockey team repeated their same old story and that cost them their second match to Germany. Germany scored their second and winning goal in the last 3 seconds that left Indian team zapped and looking for answers.
Women’s team on the other hand who has entered the Olympics after 36 years looked more organized in their lung opener against Japan. Despite trailing 0-2 in the opening halves of the match, the team pulled up a draw to end the match at 2 all.
This perhaps is one of the strongest categories of the Indian Contingent when it comes to medal prospect. But this time around, they have disappointed a lot. From Abhinav Bindra, Jitu Rai , Heena Sidhu all have failed to live up to the expectations and have bowed out of the competition. Bindra missed the Bronze Medal by a whisker. He settled for 4th position in the 10m air rifle event to bid adieu his last Olympic on a slightly disappointing note. Italy’s Nicolo Campriani fetched the Gold Medal, ( one better than the last Olympics. He won Silver at London), Ukraine’s Serihy Kulish took home the silver while, debutant Russia‘s Vladimir Maslennikov completed the podium.
Jitu Rai was way off the mark and stood last. Vietnam’s Vinh won the gold medal with 202.5, while Almeida of Brazil took the silver and China’s Wei settled for bronze.
The Men’s trap event was equally upsetting as Manavjeet Singh and Chinay failed to qualify for the finals.
One hope that still remains is rowing where India’s lone participant Dattu Bhokanal has reached the last 8 in the single sculls event. He finished third in the heats.
Dipa Karmarkar continues to impress as she has qualified for the finals of the Vault event. She finished 8th to reach the finals which will take place on 14th of August.
Indian’s journey so far has not been up to the mark but we still have hopes as our wrestlers, badminton players and track and field stars are all set to begin their respective matches. Let’s hope the coming days will bring some good news for India.