Home / Sports / Tokyo Olympics: Lovlina Borgohain, PV Sindhu, hockey teams dazzle for India

Tokyo Olympics: Lovlina Borgohain, PV Sindhu, hockey teams dazzle for India

Deepika Kumari crashes out in the quarter-finals; Shooters continue tragic run; Avinash Sable breaks his own national record
More medals for India on the way!
More medals for India on the way!
Graphics: Tiyasa Das

Our Bureau   |   Published 30.07.21, 06:39 PM

This can go down as one of the most memorable days in India's Tokyo Olympics journey. Primarily because today's outing gives hope for more medals, courtesy Lovlina Borgohain and PV Sindhu. Well, there's more good news. The Indian women's hockey team found their mojo back with a win over Ireland, and the men clinched their third straight game before starting their quarter-finals journey. On a sad note, archer Deepika Kumari ended her stint with an exit in the quarter-finals.

Here's a round-up of all that has happened for India today in Tokyo:


Lovlina shines, Simranjit knocked out

This is the highlight of the day. Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) assured India of their first boxing medal at the ongoing Olympic Games when she upstaged former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei to enter the semifinals. The 23-year-old Assam boxer prevailed 4-1 to make the last-four where she will square off against reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey, who hammered Ukraine's Anna Lysenko in her quarterfinal bout. Borgohain, a two-time world championship bronze-medallist and teh first female boxer from Assam to qualify for the Games, displayed tremendous calm in the face of a plucky opponent, who had beaten her in the past. Earlier, Simranjit Kaur (60kg) lost to Thailand's Sudaporn Seesondee in the pre-quarterfinals to make an early exit from the Games. The 26-year-old Indian, seeded fourth, went down 0-5 despite a gritty performance.


Sindhu storms into semis

Reigning world champion PV Sindhu kept alive India's hopes of a first-ever Olympic gold in badminton by reaching the semifinals of the women's singles with a straight-game win over world No.5 Japanese Akane Yamaguchi. The 26-year-old Indian, who won a silver in the 2016 Rio Olympics, defended brilliantly and rode on her attacking all-round game to outclass the fourth seeded Yamaguchi 21-13 22-20 in a 56-minute quarterfinal clash at the Musashino Forest Plaza. "The first game was mostly under my control. I was gaining the lead but I didn't take it easy because in her previous matches she came back. But I maintained the lead and finished it off," Sindhu, seeded sixth, said. "In the second game I was leading but then she came back. But I still fought back, I never lost hope and I continued with the same tempo. I am very much happy with the way I controlled the shuttle, not many errors," she added.


Deepika Kumari crashes out

Kumari's quest for an Olympic medal ended in heartbreak for the third time as she surrendered tamely to Korean top seed An San in straight sets in the quarters. It was all over in six minutes. The fancied Indian misfired three 7s in a row after drilling in as many 10s in succession to snuff out any chance of a comeback after being 0-2 down in the opening set. An, who had a perfect opening set of 30, closed it out despite shooting in the red-circle thrice in succession (7-8-9) in second and third sets. "I am not sure what happened. I tried hard but I could not perform to my own expectations," Deepika, who shot a pathetic four 7s from seven arrows, said after her loss at the Yumenoshima Park.


Sable's record, rest collapse

Avinash Sable shattered his own 3000m steeplechase national record but failed to qualify for the final while sprinter Dutee Chand produced a below-par performance to make an exit from the Tokyo Olympics. MP Jabir also brought up the rear in men's 400m hurdles while the mixed 4x400m relay team finished eighth and last in the second heat race as the Indians made a disappointing start to their athletics campaign. The 26-year-old Sable failed to qualify for the final despite clocking a better time than the top three in another heat race. He clocked 8 minutes 18.12 seconds in heat number 2 to finish seventh and better his earlier national record of 8:20.20 that he had set during the Federation Cup in March. In the evening session, the Indian quartet of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Ravathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan and Rajiv Arokia clocked season's best timing of 3:19.93 but it was good enough for a bottom-place finish in heat number 2.


Fouaad Mirza made an impressive debut in Equestrian, achieving 28 penalty points and ranking 6th. He will again be back on Day 2.


Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri endured an erratic day at the course and was even-par after 16 holes in the second round which was suspended due to persistent thunderstorms over the east course of the Kasumigaseki Country Club on Friday. Lahiri, 4-under on first day, was one of the 16 golfers who were yet to finish their rounds and was tied 20th at the time of suspension of play. They will return on Saturday morning at 7.45 am and the third round will start after that. Lahiri bogeyed the second, but made up with a birdie on the sixth to turn in in even par. On the back nine, he birdied the 10th but dropped a shot on the 13th.


Men continue winning run

Striker Gurjant Singh was twice on target as India comfortably outclassed hosts Japan 5-3 to complete their pool proceedings with four victories after having already sealed a quarter-final berth. Apart from Gurjant (17th, 56th), Harmanpreet Singh (13th), Shamsher Singh (34th) and Nilakanta Sharma (51st) scored for India to hand the eight-time Olympic champions their third consecutive win in Pool A at the Oi Hockey Stadium. Kenta Tanaka (19th), Kota Watanabe (33rd) and Kazuma Murata (59th) were the goal getters for Japan, who were already knocked out of the last-eight race ahead of Friday's tie. 

Welcome win for eves

Navneet Kaur scored a late winner as the Indian women's hockey team kept its quarterfinals hopes alive in the Olympics with a 1-0 win over Ireland in a must-win penultimate pool match on Friday. After goal-less three quarters, which India completely dominated but failed to breach the Irish defence led by goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran, Navneet finally found the back of the net in the 57th minute to bring smiles on the Indian faces. Needing a win to keep their hopes alive after three consecutive losses, India had to wait anxiously for 57 minutes despite being the dominant team on display and creating innumerable scoring chances.


Saravanan third, Kumanan dissapoints

Already out of the medal contention, Indian sailor Vishnu Saravanan finished a commendable third in one of the two laser event races on Friday that saw him move up three places to 20th position overall. After finishing third in the race number nine, Saravanan, however, ended at 15th in the next to remain at 20th overall out of 35 sailors in the laser event with 156 net points. Only the medal race remains in the competition at Enoshima Yacht Harbour. In the men's skiff 49er, the Indian pair of KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar finished 17th, 11th and 16th in three races to still occupy overall 17th spot out of 19 competitors with 116 net points. Three races and medal round still remain in the competition. Nethra Kumanan continued her disappointing form as she dropped four places to 35th with 251 net points out of 44 sailors in the women's laser radial after finishing 37th and 38th in the ninth and tenth races. Only the medal race remains in the competition. Each event consists of a series of races. Points in each race are awarded according to position: the winner gets one point, the second-placed finisher scores two and so on.


Bhaker, Sarnobat out

Indian shooters Manu Bhaker and Rahi Sarnobat crashed out of the 25m pistol qualifications (rapid fire stage) as both finished outside the top-8 at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday. It means the pistol shooters will return home empty-handed for the second straight time at the Olympics. Bhaker shot 290 in the rapid fire stage of the qualifications for a total of 582, a day after scoring 290 in precision at the Akasa Shooting Range, while the more experienced Sarnobat managed 573 (287+286). The field comprised 44 shooters in the qualifications. Placed an impressive fifth after the first stage of qualifications, the 19-year-old Bhaker faltered after a promising start, slipping with two 8s and many 9s, numbers that led to her downfall in what has turned out to be a forgettable maiden appearance at the Games.

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