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.
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.
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- 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.
|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|
Medals by gender-
|Medals by gender|
|Atanu Das||Men’s individual|
|Bombayla Devi||Women’s individual|
|Deepika Kumari||Women’s team|
Track and Road Event (Men)-
|Muhammad Anas||400 m|
|Jinson Johnson||800 m|
Mohan Kumar Raja*
|4 × 400 m relay|
Nitendra Singh Rawat
|Ganapathi Krishnan Manish Singh Gurmeet Singh||20 km walk|
|Sandeep Kumar||50 km walk|
|Ankit Sharma||Long jump|
|Renjith Maheshwary||Triple jump|
|Vikas Gowda||Discus throw|
Track and Road Events (Women)-
|Dutee Chand||100 m|
|Srabani Nanda||200 m|
|Nirmala Sheoran||400 m|
|Tintu Lukka||800 m|
|3000 m steeplechase|
M. R. Poovamma
|4 × 400 m relay|
|O. P. Jaisha
|20 km walk|
|Manpreet Kaur||Shot put|
|Seema Antil||Discus throw|
B. Sumeeth Reddy
|Shiva Thapa||Men’s bantamweight|
|Manoj Kumar||Men’s light welterweight|
|Vikas Krishan Yadav||Men’s middleweight|
|India men’s||Men’s tournament|
|India women’s||Women’s tournament|
|Avtar Singh||Men’s −90 kg|
|Dattu Baban Bhokanal||Men’s single sculls|
|Abhinav Bindra||10 m air rifle|
|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|
|10 m air rifle|
|Heena Sidhu||10 m air pistol
25 m pistol
|Sajan Prakash||Men’s 200 m butterfly|
|Shivani Kataria||Women’s 200 m freestyle|
|Sharath Kamal Achanta Soumyajit Ghosh||Men’s singles|
|Sathish Sivalingam||Men’s −77 kg|
|Saikhom Mirabai Chanu||Women’s −48 kg|
Men’s free style:
|Sandeep Tomar||−57 kg|
|Yogeshwar Dutt||−65 kg|
|Ravinder Khatri||−85 kg|
|Hardeep Singh||−98 kg|
Women’s free style:
|Vinesh Phogat||−48 kg|
|Babita Kumari||−53 kg|
|Sakshi Malik||−58 kg|