The Rio Olympics 2016 is over. The stage is done and dusted. Lessons are learnt and now we know what our standards are when it comes to the mega events. India finished 67th with one Silver medal and one Bronze medal among the 118 athletes contingent sent for the Olympics. (Naturally neither the 1.22 billion can fetch you a medal nor sending a humongous delegation.)
Before we even forget all about Rio Olympics, I would like to throw some lights on some other athletes or players who have done reasonably well during the event. It was not difficult to find them (You can count them on your finger tips). The two ladies we know saved India’s blushes at the Rio (Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu.) But there were some others too who are worth mentioning. Let’s have a look-
- Sakshi Malik
Malik broke the medal deadlock for India after she won a Bronze Medal at 58 kg Category Wrestling event in a Recpechage. She also became the 4th Female Olympic medalist from the country. I have written at length about her and her achievement on my blog of which is link is given below-https://sportspunch.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/malik-sakshi-malik/
- PV Sindhu
Sindhu provided a Silver Lining when all other athletes were crying for help. She became the first Female player ever to win a Silver Medal in Olympics for India. The 21-year-old Sindhu joined shooters Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Vijay Kumar and wrestler Sushil Kumar to win the Olympic silver for India. She is first Indian woman to win a silver Medal at the Olympics.
- Dipa Karmarkar
She raised all of our hopes when she qualified for the finals of the vault event. Doing the ever so dangerous Produnova, she performed like a champion on the D Day and gave her best. She could not finish on the podium but her performance was a huge lesson to those who were busy in giving excuses for their failures. She scored a very good 15.066 in her finals to finish 4th. USA Sensation Simone Biles won the gold medal with the score of 15.966. To know more about Dipa, read my earlier blog- https://sportspunch.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/indias-gymnastics-hope-dipa-karmarkar/
- LALITA BABAR
Once you have talked about these ladies; you may wonder whose next. Well there was another lady who deserves a mention- Lalita Babar. She is India’s long distance runner who also created history by becoming the first Indian in 32 years (PT Usha did so in 400 m hurdles in the 1984 Games.) to qualify for the finals in any track event in Olympics. She qualified for the finals of 3000 steeple chase event. Lalita clocked nine minutes and 22.74 seconds — nearly three seconds behind her national record timing in the water and barrier race to finished 10th in final. She may not have won any medal but the very fact that it took 32 years for an Indian athlete to even qualify for finals says a lot about our preparation and culture of sport. Babar for her sheer commitment and determination deserves appreciation.
- Abhinav Bindra
This Olympics was ruled by Indian women. From Twitter to whatsapp jokes to Facebook comments, the ladies were applauded and reminded us how male athletes disappointed us. But trust me; there were some men also who performed well. (At least when compared with the standards that we saw in the games). Bindra missed a Bronze medal by a whisker in the Men’s 10 m air rifle finals. He needed a 10 to remain in the race for the Bronze medal contention but it was not his day and his Russian opponent Vladimir hit 10.5 to end the roads for Bindra. He finished with 163.8. But we should never forget that he is a world class shooter and remains the only Indian to have a Gold medal for us in an Individual event. (2008 Bejing Olympics was the proudest moment for all Indians.
6 Manish Rawat-
Manish who?? Yes, Manish Rawat. From working in the fields and selling tea to meet ends on daily basis to represent India on the biggest sporting platform ever- Olympics, Rawat’s story has been nothing short of an Inspiration. He qualified for the 20km Men’s race walk finals event and finished 13th. But the best thing was he beat some of the best racewalkers in the process including 4 former world champions, 2 Olympic medalists and 2 European champions. He clocked one hour 21 minutes and 21 seconds to complete the race.
7. Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna
A lot was expected from this Mixed Doubles pair before the start of the Olympics. They performed well as well until the semifinals. The Indian pair was a set ahead but faltered when the mattered the most and lost to the American Pair of Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram in the semis. The Indian pair looked out of sink in their Bronze Medal match and lost to Czech Republican pair of Radek Stepanek and Hradecka to finish 4th.
8. Dattu Bhokanal
What an extraordinary person Dattu Bhoknala is (To know more about him, refer to my blog- ) Long before he became the lone rower to make cut for the Rio Games, his life was rocked with personal issues. That however did not deter his grit and it was his never say die attitude that made him reach the last 8 of the Singles Sculls event. He finished 4th in his quarterfinal- an agonizing defeat because if he had finished third, he would have made it to the semis. To know more bout him read my blog-https://sportspunch.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/the-rowing-hero-at-rio-datuu-bhokanal/
9. ATANU DAS
We always have so many expectations from archery. But our archer’s show was disappointing at Rio. However, there was one archer who impressed everyone – Atanu Das. He reached the pre quarterfinals of the Individual recurve event but failed to go beyond that. But let’s hope the experience that he got from this Olympics will yield some good results in next.
Well, this Olympics did not go as expected… We hope, some we will learn from our mistake and will rectify them in 2020.