RIO DE JANEIRO : India’s only hopes of a medal – in tennis mixed doubles, in men’s hockey and vault event in gymnastics – have been dashed to the ground. The men’s hockey team lost to Belgium 1-3 in the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games here on Sunday. We were bidding to enter the semi-finals for the first time in 36 years but faced an aggressive Belgium side that scored thrice after conceding a goal against the run of play in the 15th minute.
It was a sad replay in tennis mixed doubles: Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna were beaten 1-6, 5-7 by Czechs in the bronze level match. The Indian pair went down in an hour and 11 minutes.
India’s only bright spot, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, came tantalizingly close to a medal but finished fourth in the women’s vault final. India’s cup of woes was full to the brim with World no 5 Saina Nehwal losing to the World no 61; Nehwal attributed the rout against Ukraine to an inflamed knee. Shooters Gagan and Chain Singh, too, were off the mark and have fallen off the Indian Olympics radar. With that Indian campaign in shooting has ended.
Now, only Indian wrestlers and boxers are in medal hunt.