Summer Olympics 2016: The performance of the Indian contingent at the Olympic Games has been a mixed bag. Some of the high-flyers have fallen flat while the non-fancied have done very well indeed. We are talking about the failure of Heena Sidhu who literally imploded in the shooting arena and the great fightback of the Indian women’s hockey team. On the other hand, the Indian women’s archery team progressed to the quarter-finals as was expected although they made a hard work of it. They will need to be careful and get their act together to give India a good chance to win a medal in archery.
History was created by the Indian women archers as this was the first time that India had advanced to round two when Laishram Bombayla Devi, Laxmirani Majhi and Deepika Kumari qualified for the quarter-final of the recurve event by beating Colombia 5-3. At the London Olympics, the Indian team was eliminated by Denmark in round one itself – both Bombayla and Deepika are survivors from that thrashing. The Indian archery team now faces a tough Russian challenge in the quarters later today.
Another massive effort was that of the Indian women’s hockey squad which held the much fancied Japanese team to an honourable draw. India was widely expected to lose this match and the result will be a pleasant surprise for the fans back home. Indian women’s hockey team qualified for the Olympics after 36 years. The team showed excellent spirit even though they were down by 2 goals very early in the match. A strong and incisive play in the second half erased the deficit as the Japanese team sat back and tried to defend their early goals advantage.
The Indians team fell back after Japan scored through Emi Nishikori (15th minute) and Mie Nakashima (28th), however, Rani Rampal (31st) and Lilima Minz (40th) scored a goal each in the third and fourth quarters to secure a point for their side.
The fancied Indian shooters did not cover themselves with glory today as they failed to get into medal winning positions or simply crashed out early. Heena Sidhu was the most high-profile exit for the Indian shooters in the women’s 10m air pistol qualification round. Heena finished in the 14th position out of 44 competitors after shooting an overall 380, which included 13x. Heena was expected to improve on her 12th position that she secured in 2012 London Olympics Games. She registered a horror start and was not strong enough to pull back from the precipice.
Russia shooter Vitalina Batsarashkina emerged at the top in the qualification round after she scored a 390, including 14x.
Heena herself will have another chance to make amends for er failure in 10m air pistol event when she appears in the 25m pistol event, which will be held on August 9.
Indian male shooters Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Kynan Chenai too did not cover themselves in glory as they are placed 17th and 19th spots in Men’s Trap qualification. They will come back tomorrow for another 2 rounds, but not much is expected to happen to change their fortunes as others have raced ahead.
Sandhu and Chenai scored 68 and 67 respectively in three rounds. While Sandhu scored 23, 23, 22, Kynan Chenai scored 22, 23, 22.
Following are the results of Indian contingent on the 2nd day of competition.
* Women’s Team recurve Quarterfinal
* India beat Columbia 5-3
* Hockey (Women) (Group League)
* India 2 (Rani Rampal 30th min, Lilima Minz 39th min) draw
* Japan 2 (Emi Nishikori 14th min, Mie Nakashima 27th min)
* Women’s 10m Air Pistol (Qualifying Rounds)
* Heena Sidhu 14th (Failed to qualify)
* Men’s Trap Qualification Day 1:
* Manavjit Singh Sandhu 17th
* Kynan Chenai 19th.