After ending the 2016 Rio Olympics with a paltry medal haul of two, India’s chef-de-mission Rakesh Gupta on Monday admitted he is extremely disappointed with the result, while pointing out that they were expecting to finish the campaign with double digits.
Rakesh Gupta said that experienced wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt’s opening-round exit came as a major blow to them as they were expecting to add all the three colors in their account. “Definitely, I am not so happy with the result because we were expecting more. Everything has been over now and we have got just one silver and a bronze. Disappointment is there as we were hopeful to at least touch the figure of last Olympics.
We were expecting that we will take eight or nine medals in this game. I was sure that we were not away and we would have got it,” Gupta told ANI. “We were extremely sure that we would get eight or nine medals this time or may touch double figure also. But you can see the result that we missed few medals by a whisker. We lost Abhinav Bindra, Dipa Karmakar to fourth place.
Vigesh Phogat in wrestling got injured. We were expecting the medals from archery too. Shooting is the big flop this time. We were very hopeful that we will get at least three to four medals from shooting,” he added. However, Gupta couldn’t stop himself from gushing over two women athletes PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, who brought back glory to the country.
“They (Sakshi and PV Sindhu) have become the pride of the nation. They have created history for the country,” he said. Expressing his views about embattled wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s four-year suspension over dope charges just ahead of his Rio campaign, Gupta insisted that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) should have made the appeal earlier so that the grappler would not have been sent to participate in the Olympics.
“WADA made an appeal very late when there were only three days left for his event. That is not fair on the part of player. They should have done it earlier so that we would not have been invited him to Rio,” he said. Suggesting ways to improve India’s performance in Olympics, Gupta admitted they need to do long-term planning to achieve something big in the next Summer Games.
It was after eleven days of agonising wait when wrestler Sakshi finally broke India’s medal drought by clinching bronze in woman 58kg category wrestling event. The victory also saw her become only the fourth Indian wrestler to win a medal in Olympics after Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt. Just two days after India opened their account, Sindhu scripted history by becoming country’s first woman athlete to clinch an Olympic silver medal.
Although Sindhu missed out on gold, she displayed a superb fighting spirit against Spaniard world number one Carolina Marin throughout the summit showdown match to earn India’s second medal in Rio Games. Sindhu became the second Indian player in badminton to win an Olympic medal after Saina Nehwal, who had clinched bronze in London four years ago.
Meanwhile, Yogeshwar, India’s last realistic medal hope on the concluding day of the Olympics, failed to showcase his charm as he suffered a crushing 0-3 qualifying bout defeat at the hands of Mongolia’s Ganzorigiina Mandakhnaran, whose last-eight exit dashed the Indian’s hopes of securing his second career bronze medal through repechage.
In 2012, India had secured their highest medal tally from a single Games i.e six, without gold and there were pre-Games projections by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) that the tally will be doubled this time, given the highest-ever contingent of the country going in Rio de Janeiro.