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An account of India’s performance at 2020 Tokyo Olympics

With 7 medals (1 gold medal, 2 silver medals, 4 bronze medals), India concluded the Tokyo Olympics campaign as the country's most successful Olympic Games ever.

Last updated: 08.08.2021
An account of India’s performance at 2020 Tokyo Olympics

On the penultimate day of the Games in Tokyo, India's Olympic campaign drew to a close when Neeraj Chopra won gold in the men's javelin throw, making history as independent India's first athletics medal, and that too a gold. India essentially saved its best for last, when Neeraj hurled the spear at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium to cement his place in Indian athletic history. With 7 medals (1 gold medal, 2 silver medals, 4 bronze medals), India concluded the Tokyo campaign as the country's most successful Olympic Games ever. In addition, India's seven medals in Tokyo beat its previous best of six at the 2012 London Olympics.

In Image: Neeraj Chopra

We've reached the conclusion of the Tokyo Olympics, which is a good opportunity to reflect. Many Indians predicted that this would be India's best Olympics ever in terms of medal haul in the run-up to the Games. Our most successful Games to date, in terms of medals won, were the 2012 London Olympics, when we returned with six gold, two silver, and four bronze medals. This time, we were able to break the previous record of six medals. India, on the other hand, saved the best for last. On the penultimate day of the global competition, Neeraj Chopra and Bajrang Punia added two more medals to India's five-medal tally.

Mirabai Chanu won a silver medal in the 49kg category at the Olympics, ending India's 21-year drought for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics. The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202 kilograms (87 kilograms + 115 kilograms) to beat Karnam Malleswari's bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Moments of optimism, heartbreak, nostalgia, glory, and near-misses were sandwiched between Chanu's silver and Chopra's gold, and they are guaranteed to inspire, if not all, at least a few Indians. Many world champions, world cup winners, world no. 1s, youngsters who had taken the world by storm, and first-timers in events India had little knowledge of made up this 124-member contingent.

In Image: Mirabai Chanu

India had many medal contenders in the archery event but the archery squad failed to deliver and had to return without any medal. The quarterfinals of the mixed archery competition put the Indian duo to the test against Korea. India were defeated by a score of 2-6. A win here would have qualified them for at least a Bronze medal. Deepika lost 6-0 to #1 seed and World Record holder An San in the women's archery event.  Atanu Das crashed out of the round of 16 in the men’s individual after a 6-4 loss against Takaharu Furukawa. The men’s team lost 2-6 to Korea in the Quarter-finals and ended India’s hopes for a medal in archery. But archer Atanu Das performed the unthinkable and defeated a Korean in a match. Oh Jin-Hyek has won two Olympic gold medals, four World Championship gold medals, three World Cup championships, and two Asian Games gold medals.

In the Men's 4x400 Relay, Team India set an Asian Record. With a timing of 3:00.25, the team of Amoj Jacob, Noah Nirmal Tom, Muhammad Anas, and Arokia Rajiv placed fourth in the Group B heat. India, on the other hand, is ranked ninth and lost out on a spot in the final by just one spot, as only the next two teams in each Heat are chosen after the top three teams in each Heat. In badminton, Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty played their hearts out to beat the eventual gold medalists in men's doubles, Lee Yang and Wang Chin-lin of Taiwan, before crashing out of the event.

India sent its largest-ever table tennis delegation to Tokyo, with two players competing in men's and women's singles, as well as a mixed doubles partnership. Manika became the first female Indian paddler to win two matches and reach the R32 in singles at the Olympics. Sutirtha Mukherjee overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat her higher-ranked Swedish opponent and go to the R64, marking the first time in Olympic history that both female Indian paddlers have won a match. In men's singles, Sharath Kamal defeated Tiago Apolonia in the round of 64, and in the round of 32, he put on a magnificent display of aggressive table tennis against eventual gold medalist MA Long of China. Sumit Nagal, a late entrant in tennis, startled higher-ranked Denis Istomin, while India was represented for the first time in sailing and Equestrian.

For the second consecutive Olympics Games, India's largest contingent went blank, with only 15 shooters making one final appearance in Tokyo 2020. India did not win a single medal in a discipline where it has previously excelled in the international arena. No one came close to a medal, with Saurabh Chaudhary's best placing in the 10m air pistol being ninth. At the Olympics in 2021, Indian boxers were predicted to win numerous medals. Despite the fact that the team of nine comprised some of the best boxers in the world, only Lovlina Borgohain won a medal. Vikas Krishan and World No. 1 Amit Phangal, for example, were unable to step up when it was most needed. With a severe injury to his eye, Satish Kumar fought valiantly against first seed Bakhodir Jalolov, earning plaudits from all.

In Image: Lovlina Borgohain

The national men's and women's hockey teams were a continual source of aggravation for all Indians since they were routinely outclassed in big events against even comparably placed teams, let alone the best. This time, though, both teams wowed the crowd and set multiple records. India's men's hockey team made history by being the first Indian team to win an Olympic medal in 41 years, defeating Germany 5-4 for bronze. In the history of the Olympics, India has won three bronze medals in hockey. After India's 7-1 defeat by Australia in the group rounds, no one predicted this result. The women’s team also managed to turn around three consecutive losses in the group stage with two consecutive ins and qualified for the quarter-finals. They defeated the mighty Australians in the QF and entered the semi-final for the very first time. A fourth-place finish does not earn a medal at the Games, but it is a significant success for a team that finished last at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In Image: Indian Men's hockey team at tokyo olympics

Aditi Ashok, an Indian golfer, had to be disappointed after finishing just one shot outside the medal bracket after 72 holes of the women's individual event. Nonetheless, the 23-year-performance old's was highly commendable, since he matched some of the finest players in the world on such a large stage while under extreme pressure. Wrestler Bajrang Punia won a bronze medal in the Olympics, joining a long list of Indian wrestlers who had won a medal at the Olympics. In the men's 65kg freestyle bronze match, Bajrang defeated Kazakhstan's Daulet Niyazbekov 8-0 to become the sixth Indian wrestler to win an Olympic medal. Wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya took home the silver medal for India in the men's freestyle 57kg final on Thursday, losing to two-time defending world champion Zavur Uguev. Ravi advanced to the gold medal match by pinning Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the semi-final.

In Image: Ravi Kumar Dahiya

In Image: Bajrang Punia

PV Sindhu won bronze in the Tokyo Olympics, making her the first Indian female athlete to win multiple medals at an Olympics. The 26-year-old was eliminated in the semi-finals by Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying, but came back to win the bronze medal match against Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15. During the 17-day mega event, India had its best-ever campaign in the Tokyo Olympics, winning seven medals. India had sent its largest-ever delegation to the Tokyo Olympics, with 126 participants competing in 18 sports. Indian competitors competed in a total of 69 events, the most ever for the country. With a stellar campaign, the Indian contingent will collect their breath and start their preparation for Paris 2024.

In Image: PV Sindhu

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