India in Rio Olympics : Pale Start, Happy Ending on Day 5


After Atanu Das, Vikash Krishnan and the Men’s hockey team putting up commendable performances on Day 4, it was time for the other atheletes to step up to the occasion for India in Rio Olympics Day 5.

The Indian fans were hoping big from Jitu Rai to give the country its first medal in the Rio games in 50m air pistol. Along with Jitu Rai, Prakash Nanjappa was also in action in the Men’s 50m air pistol event. Jitu started the qualification round on a high, ranking 7th after 2 series of shots, whereas Prakash Nanjappa was not looking good. But just when Jitu looked to qualify for the finals, he shot a very poor last series of 88 which put him out of contention for a place in the finals. He finally finished 12th, thus squandering a chance to win a medal for the country. Prakash Nanjappa finished a low 25th to bow out of the games.

It was then time for Laishram Bombayla Devi to overturn the disappointment of Jitu Rai’s performance when she faced Laurence Baldauff of Austria in the 1/32 elimination round. She didn’t disappoint at all as Bombayla Devi went on to beat her opponent 6-2 even after losing the first set. She consistently shot in the 10’s and 9’s to ensure her qualification. She then faced LIN Shih-Chia of Chinese Taipei in the 1/16 elimination round who was the world number 10. Bombayla Devi won the first set 27-24 and from then she never looked back as she defeated her opponent 6-2 again to move into the round of 16.

Later in the day, Deepika Kumari was also seen in action as she faced Kristine Esebua of Georgia in the round of 64. It was a very closely fought encounter where Deepika held her nerves to beat her opponent and progress to the next round. She also shot a perfect 30 in the 2nd set. In the 1/16 elimination round, Deepika was up against Guendalina Sartori of Italy. But this time also she hardly faced any difficulty to overcome her opponent. She won the round 6-2 to move into the pre-quarters along with Bombayla Devi. Now in the round of 16, we will get to see both Deepika and Bombayla Devi fight it out for a medal.

Next up was the Women’s hockey team against Australia in a Group B encounter. Australia was sitting at the bottom of the table with no points in their bag. But, that didn’t have any effect on the result as the Indian women were no match to the Australians. The Aussies won 6-1 with Anuradha scoring the lone goal for India in the last minute of the match.

Same was the result of Avtar Singh in Men’s 90kg Judo as he lost to Popole Misenge of ROT. Sathish Sivalingam, in weightlifting was also in action. He was placed in group B where he finished 4th out of 6 athletes. The final rankings will only be produced when both the groups are completed. But Sathish hardly has any chance to win a medal. Manoj Kumar, in boxing was the last Indian in action today. His bout was against Evaldas Petrauskas of Lithuania. Manoj Kumar was in full form as he defeated his opponent 2-1 to storm into the pre-quarters of Men’s 77kg.

The wins today came from both of our women archers and Manoj Kumar in boxing. Considering Jitu not being able to qualify for the finals, it was not a good day for the Indian fans. But later it was smiles all over as Bombayla Devi, Deepika Kumari and Manoj Kumar all progressed to the round of 16 of their events. Day 6 will be much more interesting as India’s quest for the first medal of the games continues.

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