Olympics Heartbreaks And Braveheart Dipa

- Saurabh Sharma   17-08-2016


The ninth day was a rather heartbreaking one for India as both Dipa Karmakar and tennis pair Sania Mirza-Rohan Bopanna fell short of a medal. Indian men hockey team too crashed out after losing 3-1 from Belgium in quarterfinals, ending a medal dream for India in hockey. While the tennis and hockey losses were clearly due to our players being beaten by clearly superior opponents, the Karmakar episode highlighted the fruits  of innovation and set limits on its ability tilt scales. India has been never known for gymnastics and qualifying for the event was unexpected. Unlike other sports where goal posts are clearly defined, gymnastics is an ‘ art and science sport’ whose marking essentially depends on the judges. A decade ago it was just the Russians and the East Europeans who dominated the sport. But slowly the US broke into the hallowed circle followed by China, Japan and others. India has never been represented in this sport in the olympics, but got its call this time because an unknown 18 year old braveheart from rural Bengal chose the innovative and highly dangerous death vault as her pivotal show. Dipa Karmakar who said she perfected it by doing a thousand vaults, outshone others  more accomplished and experienced by perfectly pulling it off both in the prelims as well as the finals. As a matter of fact she had catapulted to the second spot in rankings with two competitors left. However the last two were the vaulting champions who eventually took the second and first position respectively relegating Dipa to the fourth spot. Thus India’s day of heartbreaks was complete when after the hockey and tennis defeat they failed to get the medal in vaulting where an young braveheart risked her life.

The Independence day of India brought with it a little hope as badminton players PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth clear to the next stage. All eyes were on boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav who will face his biggest challenge Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikuziev on the 10th day of Rio 2016. Wrestling also began on Monday, accompanied by events in athletics and badminton.


Badminton: Men’s singles

Participants: Srikanth Kidambi

Result: Through to quarters. Defeats Jorgenses of Denmark 21-19, 21-19


Women’s singles

Participants: PV Sindhu

Result: Through to Quarters. Defeated Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei 21-13, 21-15

Athletics: Men's triple jump (qualification)

Participants: Renjith Maheshwary

Result: Finishes 30th out of 47th with 16.13m jump. Eliminated.


Women's 200m (Round 1)

Participants: Srabani Nanda

Result: Came 6th in her heat. Eliminated.


Women's 3000m Steeplechase (final)

Participants: Lalita Babar

Result: 10th in final with timing of 9:22:74. Fails to win a medal.


Discus Throw (Qualification)

Participants: Seema Punia

Result: Fails to qualify for the next stage.

Wrestling: Men's 85kg (Qualification)

Participants: Ravinder Khatri

Result: Defeated 0-9. Eliminated.

Boxing: Men's Middleweight 75kg (Quarterfinal)

Participants: Vikas Krishan

Result: Lost 0-3 to Bektemir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan. Eliminated