Free Press Journal

Rio Olympics: Indian’s eyeing GOLD


Rio Olympic 2016Rio de Janeiro : Indian women archers during the practice session for Olympic 2016 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday. PTI Photo by Atul Yadav

Sports biggest event is soon to kick start. After the much shout, celebration and fear, Rio 2016 Olympics opening ceremony will start tonight at 8 pm on at Brazil, the same will be available live in India tomorrow early morning at 4.30 am. Since India is eight and half hours ahead of Brazil which means Indian fans will witness the opening ceremony at 4.30 am early morning of August 6. It is expected that the ceremony will last for four hours.

India’s only gold medal winner and shooter Abhinav Bindra who will be seen in his fourth Olympic will be the flag bearer for India. He will be leading the strong Indian contingent at the parade. Bindra made history at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by winning first gold medal in 10-mm air rifle event. It was India’s first since 1980 when the then hockey team returned home with yellow medal. This year India is sending it’s largest contingent at Rio Olympics with highest number in the sports like – badminton and shooting. The total number of contingents stands at 109. In 2012 London Olympics the number was 83. There are rumors that the woman from the contingent will be wearing tri-colour clothes like a saree in crepe or chiffron, the colors of Indian National Flag with lachkan and a hite bindi. The opening ceremony will be taking place at the Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro. The stadium has been used in the past for Football finals including 1950 World Cup final, 2013 Federation Cup final and 2014 World Cup final. The venue can hold more than 75,000 people.

With India sending it’s largest contingent at the Olympics one would expect nothing-less-than a historic medal haul. The parade of Indian team is slated to begin 9.37 pm Brazilian local time. Athletes will be representing the country in various sports like wrestling to weight lifting. The Indian Archers will start the campaign first at Rio and unfortunately the archers team will skip the opening ceremony to focus on their task ahead, and maintain the energy levels in order to give giving 100 percent on the first day of tournament.

Archers who made first round exit in London 2012 will begin their campaign with Men’s individual and team events, slated Friday morning. In the afternoon session which will began at 1 pm local time will see women’s individual and team events taking place. On August 6 men’s team eliminations will be held. The women’s team Bomabayal Devi, Deepika Kumari and Laxmirani Manjhi are the top condendors for the medal as they will look to finish well in the ranking round. The archers team who reache first at Rio are not staying at Games village and instead staying in a hotel next to iconic Sambodromo, the Samba street of Rio de Janeiro. The men’s individual games will begin at 5.30 IST on Friday. The women’s individual and team event will began from 9.30 IST on Friday. Men’s singles round is schedule to take place from August 5 to August 12. The only male archer Atanu Das wil be seen in action on Saturday.

On day one Indian swimmer Shivani Kataria will repersent the country at the games in swimming 200m free style event. Shivani who hails from Haryana will compete in her maider Olympic along with Kerala’s Sajan Prakash. After Beijing Olympic, this will be th first time that more than one swimmer will repersent the country. Kataria is also the first women since 2004 Athens olympics, when Shikha Tondon represented India in women in 50m and 100m. Kataria was selected as India’s wild card entry to Rio since no Indian swimmer was able to qualify through qualifiers. Women’s swimming schedule to take place from August 6 to  August 13. On the other hand, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu who broke national record in 48kg wightlifting and lifted 85 kg in the snatch and 170 kg in the clean jerk for a total life of 192 kg. She created the national record, twice, while boking her Olympic berth. She broke the national record which was set by her coach and former weightlifter Kunjarani Devi, lifted the largest total in the 48kg category. The event is schedule on August 6.

There are hopes that the Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and partner Rohan Bopanna will win a medal at Rio. Tennis had a controversial road to Rio when Rohan Bopanna went on to choose lower ranked Saket Mayneni instead of experienced Leander Paes. AITA’s intervention stopped the repeat of London. Paes would be aiming for his dream doubles Olympic medal in record seventh straight Games- a record for any tennis player.But it is Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopana where India have a better chance to win as they complement each others game well. Men’s doubles event will take place on August 6 at 7.30PM IST. Doubles duo Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna will meet Poland’s M. Matkowski and L. Kubot in the first round.

Dattu Baban Bhokanal, the lone rower from India who made it to the Rio Olympics. Bhokanal is sole competitor from India at rowing. Rowing event will start on first day, August 6. Other than this our male Hockey players will be in action on day one. India will face Ireland in round one at 7.30PM. This will Ireland first Olympic appearance since 1908 when they earned silver medal. India is placed in group B. Under the captaincy of P. R. Sreejesh, India will be aiming to win gold and end it’s 36-years medal drought at the Olympics. If we look at the history then India never won an opening match at the Olympics since in Sydney 2000. Meanwhile women hockey will make their first appearance at Olympics since Moscow 1980 and will have a face-off with Japan, ranked number 10 on August 7.

On first day of tournament, India can eye a medal from shooter Jeetu Rai, whose pistol has been shooting in alomost every event he has participated. Jeetu is favorite to repeat Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal feat at the 2008 Bejing Olympics. He’ll be competing in both the events, the Nepalese origin shooter is undoubtedly favorite to finish at top in star studded team. Alongside Rai, Gurpreet Sigh also be competing. Day one of shooting will also see 10m air rifle women duo of Apurvi Chandela and Ayonika Paul opening their campaigns. Apurvi and Ayonika are hopes to make a mark at the event. Glorious Heena Sindhu is the third shooting contingent and the first pistol shooter to be ranked number one. Sindhu has won silver in World Cup.