India at the Rio Olympics 2016


A total of 117 Indian athletes (63 men and 54 women) across 15 different sports were sent to the Rio Olympics 2016 by the IOA (Indian Olympic Association), which was the biggest ever troop sent to the Olympics. 

The question that arises is why did IOA send such a huge delegation for the Olympics? The answer is high expectations. India won 6 medals at the 2012 Olympics and this time more than 10 medals were expected. But ironically, out of 117 athletes only 2 athletes managed to win the medal. The two athletes that made the country proud were P.V. Sindhu (silver medal in Badminton) and Sakshi Malik (bronze medal in wrestling). The special mention was Dipa Karmakar overwhelming performance in the gymnastics, but she failed to win the medal and finished fourth.


Highs of the Quadrennial Event
The Lady show- At one stage it looked gloomy and India was on the verge of returning empty handed, but then the iron ladies PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik) rose to the occasion at the quadrennial event and sealed two Olympic medals. The last time India returned empty handed was at the Barcelona Olympics 1992.

Stunning performance by Dipa Karmakar-
Apart from PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, another athlete who grabbed the maximum spot light was Dipa Karmakar, who missed the medal by a whisker, but won everyone heart after she performed the death vault Produnova.

She was the first Indian gymnast to finish fourth in gymnastics in the last 52 years. Before her only 11 athletes participated in the gymnastics ( 2 in  1952, 3 in 1956 and 6 in 1964).

Lows of the Tournament

7 wrestlers participated in the wrestling and atleast 3 medals were expected, but only one wrestler Sakshi managed to win the bronze medal. The fans expected a medal from Vinesh Phogat, 2012 olympic bronze medalist Yogeshwar Dutt and Babita Kumari, but Yogeshwar Dutt faced a humiliating defeat gainst Mongolia’s Ganzorigiina Mandakhnaran in the opening round, Vinesh Phogat lost to China’s Yanan Sun in the quarter-final stage and Babita Kumari also lost in the opeing round.

Atleast 2 medals were expected in boxing as India played safe and sent their top 3 boxers at the Rio Olympics 2016. Shiva Thapa, Manoj Kumar and Vikas Krishan Yadav participated at the event, but all of them failed to even reach the big stages.

Shiva Thapa Rio Olympics 2016

Thapa faced a first-round exit from the event after losing to Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez in the Men’s bantamweight category.

Manoj Kumar won the first round against Lithuania’s Evaldas Petrauskas in the Men’s light welterweight category, but lost to Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov in the second round.

Vikas Krishan Yadav started off the tournament with two consecutive wins uner belt and reached the quarter finals, but lost to Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikuziev in the quarter finals and by this defeat it was curtains for India in boxing. 

India won their last Hockey Olympic medal at the Moscow Olympic 1980 and this time around the entire nation expected to fill the 36 year long gap and finish at the podium. Indian hockey team started off with a bang and reached the quarter finals easily, but lost to Belgium in the quarter finals 1-3 and went back empty handed.

Although PV Sindhu secured a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but fans expected London Olympics bronze medalist Saina Nehwal to raise the bar and win at least silver medal.

Although, she faced a shocking defeat against Ukraine’s Maria Ulitina in the second round.

Deepika Kumari was the strongest contender to win a medal at the Rio Olympics and why not. She was in red hot form before the tournament, she shot 686 in the 72-arrow ranking round at the Archery World Cup in April 2016.

Deepika Kumar Rio Olympics 2016

But the ace archer lost to Tan Ya-Ting of Chinese Taipei 0-6 in the pre quarters in the individual event.

In the women curve Deepika Kumari again failed as India lost to Russia 4-5. Atanu Das, Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi were the other archers who participated in the quadrennial event, but failed to even reach the quarter finals.

A total of 12 shooters participated at the Rio Olympics 2016 that included Jitu Rai (50m pistol and 10m air pistol), Gagan Narang (10 m air rifle, 50 m rifle prone and 50 m rifle 3 positions), Manavjit Singh Sandhu (Trap) and Beijing Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra (10m air rifle).

But all of them failed to win the medal. India had won 2 medals at the London Olympics, when the shooter Vijay Kumar won the silver medal in the 25m rapid fire pistol category and Gagan Narang won the bronze medal in the 10m air rifle category.

Controversies Throughout the Tournament

Narsingh Yadav and Sushil Kumar

Narsingh Yadav and Sushil Kumar- The controversy erupted when Narsingh Yadav was picked ahead of 2 time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar at the Rio Olympics in the 74 weight category.

But Narsingh failed 2 anti-doping tests and was tested positive for metandienone, but eventually was clean chit by NADA. The World Anti-doping agency challenged the NADA decision and case was forwarded to Court of Arbitration for Sport. On 18 August 2016 Narsingh Yadav was handed a 4 year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes conflict- There were reports that Rohan Bopanna was uncomfortable pairing with Leander Paes and preferred young sensation Saketh Myneni. Although Olympic medalist Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna lost to Lukas Kubot and Marcin Matkowski in the first round.

OP Jaisha- Indian women athlete OP Jaisha collapsed in the marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Later OP  Jaisha claimed that she was not provided the water and energy drinks by the officials.


Medal Name Sport Event Date
 Silver P. V. Sindhu Badminton Women’s singles August 19
Bronze Sakshi Malik Wrestling Women’s freestyle 58 kg August 17


Medal by sports-

Medals by sport
Sport 1 2 3 Total
Badminton 0 1 0 1
Wrestling 0 0 1 1
Total 0 1 1 2


Medals by gender-

Medals by gender
Gender 1 2 3 Total
Male 0 0 0 0
Female 0 1 1 2
Total 0 1 1 2



Sports Men Women Total Events
Archery 1 3 4 3
Athletics 17 17 34 19
Badminton 3 4 7 4
Boxing 3 0 3 3
Field hockey 16 16 32 2
Golf 2 1 3 2
Gymnastics 0 1 1 5
Judo 1 0 1 1
Rowing 1 0 1 1
Shooting 9 3 12 11
Swimming 1 1 2 2
Table tennis 2 2 4 2
Tennis 2 2 4 3
Weightlifting 1 1 2 2
Wrestling 4 3 7 7
Total 63 54 117 67



Athlete Event
Atanu Das Men’s individual
Bombayla Devi Women’s individual
Deepika Kumari
Laxmirani Majhi
Deepika Kumari Women’s team
Bombayla Devi
Laxmirani Majhi


Track and Road Event (Men)-

Athlete Event
Muhammad Anas 400 m
Jinson Johnson 800 m
Mohammad Anas
Ayyasamy Dharun
Lalit Mathur*
Kunhu Muhammed
Mohan Kumar Raja*
Arokia Rajiv
4 × 400 m relay
Thonakal Gopi
Kheta Ram
Nitendra Singh Rawat
Ganapathi Krishnan    Manish Singh            Gurmeet Singh 20 km walk
Sandeep Kumar 50 km walk


Field Events-

Athlete Event
Ankit Sharma Long jump
Renjith Maheshwary Triple jump
Vikas Gowda Discus throw


Track and Road Events (Women)-

Athlete Event
Dutee Chand 100 m
Srabani Nanda 200 m
Nirmala Sheoran 400 m
Tintu Lukka 800 m
Lalita Babar
Sudha Singh
3000 m steeplechase
Ashwini Akkunji*
Tintu Lukka
Jisna Mathew*
Debashree Mazumdar*
M. R. Poovamma
Nirmala Sheoran
Anilda Thomas
4 × 400 m relay
O. P. Jaisha
Kavita Raut
Khushbir Kaur
Sapna Punia
20 km walk


Field Events-

Athlete Event
Manpreet Kaur Shot put
Seema Antil Discus throw




Athlete Event
Srikanth Kidambi Singles
Manu Attri
B. Sumeeth Reddy



Athlete Event
Saina Nehwal
Pusarla Sindhu
Jwala Gutta
Ashwini Ponnappa



Athlete Event
Shiva Thapa Men’s bantamweight
Manoj Kumar Men’s light welterweight
Vikas Krishan Yadav Men’s middleweight


Field Hockey-

Team Event
India men’s Men’s tournament
India women’s Women’s tournament



Athlete Event
Shiv Chawrasia
Anirban Lahiri
Aditi Ashok Women’s


Gymnastics (women)-

Athlete Event
Dipa Karmakar All-around



Athlete Event
Avtar Singh Men’s −90 kg



Athlete Event
Dattu Baban Bhokanal Men’s single sculls



For men:

Athlete Event
Abhinav Bindra 10 m air rifle
Kynan Chenai Trap
Mairaj Ahmad Khan Skeet
Prakash Nanjappa 50 m pistol
Gagan Narang 10 m air rifle
50 m rifle prone                 50 m rifle 3 positions
Jitu Rai 50 m rifle prone
50 m rifle 3 positions
Gurpreet Singh 10 m air pistol
25 m rapid fire pistol
Manavjit Singh Sandhu Trap



Athlete Women
Apurvi Chandela
Ayonika Paul
10 m air rifle
Heena Sidhu 10 m air pistol
25 m pistol



Athlete Event
Sajan Prakash Men’s 200 m butterfly
Shivani Kataria Women’s 200 m freestyle


Table Tennis-

Athlete Event
Sharath Kamal Achanta Soumyajit Ghosh Men’s singles
Manika Batra
Mouma Das
Women’s singles



Athlete Event
Rohan Bopanna
Leander Paes
Men’s doubles
Sania Mirza
Prarthana Thombare
Women’s doubles
Sania Mirza
Rohan Bopanna
Mixed doubles


Weight Lifting-

Athlete Event
Sathish Sivalingam Men’s −77 kg
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu Women’s −48 kg



Men’s free style:

Athlete Event
Sandeep Tomar −57 kg
Yogeshwar Dutt −65 kg


Men’s Greco-Roman:

Athlete Event
Ravinder Khatri −85 kg
Hardeep Singh −98 kg


Women’s free style:

Athlete Event
Vinesh Phogat −48 kg
Babita Kumari −53 kg
Sakshi Malik −58 kg


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