Tokyo Olympics: Indian hockey hits a new low with 1-7 rout
A string of disappointments early on followed by a humiliating defeat in the afternoon ruined India’s Sunday at the Tokyo Olympics.
If the fancied shooting squad drew a blank for the second successive day, there was an early exit for tennis star Sania Mirza and her partner debutant Ankita Raina in women’s doubles.
And then in swimming two youngsters failed to qualify for the semi-finals in their respective events. Gymnast Pranati Nayak of Bengal also could not earn a berth in the all-round final.
But nothing was more debilitating than the 1-7 rout India suffered at the hands of world No. 1 Australia in men’s hockey.
The mighty Kookaburras simply toyed with the Indian defence after the first quarter and scored goals at will to comfortably secure their second consecutive win in the competition.
This was India’s biggest loss since Australian Graham Reid took charge of the team as coach in April 2019.
Australia looked dominant and were in complete control from the onset, scoring goals through Daniel Beale (10th minute), Joshua Beltz (26th), Andrew Flynn Ogilvie (23rd), Jeremy Hayward (21st), Blake Govers (40th, 42nd) and Tim Brand (51st) to secure the easy win.
India’s lone goal was scored by Dilpreet Singh in the 34th minute.
Sania and Ankita dominated a large part of their opener against Ukrainian twin sisters Nadiia and Liudmyla Kichenok.
The duo were running away with the contest, but in a dramatic turnaround the Kichenok sisters came back from the dead to pull off a 0-6, 7-6 (0), 10-8 win at the Ariake Tennis Centre.
Pranati recorded a total score of 42.565 over the four categories — floor exercise, vault, uneven bars and balance beam — at the Ariake Gymnastic centre. She is now ranked at 29th overall at the end of subdivision 2.
Pranati hardly got any time to prepare after qualifying through the continental quota following the cancellation of the 9th Senior Asian Championships in China, due to the pandemic.
In women’s 10m air pistol event, debutant shooter Yashaswini Singh Deswal recovered from a subdued start to end 13th with a total score of 574. In the men’s 10m air rifle event, Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar finished a lowly 26th and 32nd, respectively.
Swimmers Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel’s campaigns came to an end as the two youngsters failed to qualify for the semi-finals of their respective events. Srihari managed a time of 54.31s to finish his men’s 100m backstroke heat in a creditable sixth place. Maana, finished with a time of 1.05.20 behind Zimbabwe’s Donata Katai.
⦾ Badminton: Women’s singles — PV Sindhu bt Ksenia Polikarpova (Isr) 21-7, 21-10
⦾ Boxing: Women’s 51kg (Round of 32) — Mary Kom bt Miguelina Hernandez Garcia (Dom) 4-1; Men’s 63kg (Round of 32) — Manish Kaushik lost to Luke McCormack (GBR) 1-4
⦾ Gymnastics: Artistic gymnastics, qualifying — Pranati Nayak failed to qualify for finals in any of the five artistic gymnastics events (floor exercises — 10.633 points, vault — 13.466 points, uneven bars — 9.033 points, balance beam — 9.433 points, total 42.565 points in the all-round category)
⦾ Hockey: Men’s, Pool A — lost to Australia 1-7
⦾ Rowing: Men’s lightweight double sculls, repechage — Arjun Lal Jat/Arvind Singh finished 3rd in the repechage round to qualify for the semi-finals
⦾ Shooting: Women’s 10m air pistol, qualifying — Manu Bhaker finished 12th, Yashaswini Singh Deswal finished 13th, both failed to make it finals; Men’s 10m air rifle, qualifying — Deepak Kumar finished 26th, Divyansh Singh Panwar finished 32nd, both failed to qualify for finals; Men’s skeet, qualifying Day 1: Angad Vir Singh Bajwa was 10th, Mairaj Ahmad Khan was 25th after the first day of qualifying
⦾ Swimming: Men’s 100m backstroke, heats — Srihari Nataraj finished 27th (54.31s); Women’s 100m backstroke, heats — Maana Patel finished 39th (1:05.20s), both failed to qualify for the semi-finals
⦾ Table tennis: Women’s singles, Round II — Manika Batra bt Margaryta Pesotska (Ukraine) 4-3 (4-11, 4-11, 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7); Men’s singles, Round II — Sathiyan Gnanasekaran lost to Lam Siu Hang (Hng) 3-4 (7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 10-12, 6-11)
⦾ Tennis: Women’s doubles (Round I) — Sania Mirza/ Ankita Raina lost to Nadiia Kichenok/Lydumyla Kichenok (Ukr) 6-0, 6-7, 8-10