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Updated on: Saturday, August 07, 2021, 08:41 PM IST

From Kamalpreet Kaur to Aditi Ashok: 5 missed opportunities for India at Tokyo Olympics

Kamalpreet Kaur had finished 2nd in discus throw qualification only to finish 6th in main round |

Kamalpreet Kaur had finished 2nd in discus throw qualification only to finish 6th in main round |

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In terms of medals, the 2012 London Olympics was India’s best show at Olympics with 6 medals (2 silver and 4 bronze). A total of 83 athletes, 60 men, and 23 women competed across 13 sports at the edition.

But with Neeraj Chopra's historic and a limping Bajrang Punia's bronze, India, who had 5 medals before the start of the day, better their best Olympics with 7 medals.

However, Indian athletes still missed out on at least five instances to make India's medal tally look more impressive.

Kamalpreet Kaur

Kamalpreet Kaur finished a commendable sixth in the women's discus throw final with best attempt of 63.70m. However, in qualification, Kamalpreet Kaur produced one of the strongest performances by an Indian, finishing second. Inexperience of playing at the Olympics and the pressure of the situation most likely came to her undoing.

Saurabh Chaudhary

Saurabh Chaudhary topped qualifications only to finish 7th in main round | Alex Brandon

Nineteen-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary from India topped the 10m air pistol shooting qualifier at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He scored 586 out of 600 to raise hope for a gold medal.

However, in the main round, Saurabh Chaudhary finished seventh in the men's 10m air pistol final at the Tokyo Olympics, disappointing one and all who pinned their hopes on the sharp shooter.

Deepak Punia (Wrestling)

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India's Deepak Punia reacts after losing against MN Amine from San Marino in men’s freestyle 86kg bronze medal match, at the 2020 Summer Olympics. | (PTI Photo/Gurinder Osan)

Deepak Punia stormed into the semi-finals with two wins and was just two wins away from clinching a gold medal. However, in the semis, the Olympic debutant at just 22, ran into eventual gold medal winner David Taylor of USA.

Deepak lost the bout by technical superiority but still had a shot at a bronze medal. He led the bout against San Marino’s Myles Amine but lost the lead in the final ten seconds, giving away a takedown to lose the bronze medal match with barely any time left.

Women’s hockey team

Tokyo Olympics 2020 | Bronze lost, a billion hearts won over: Indian women's hockey team signs off 4th after narrow loss to Great Britain | AFP

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The women’s hockey team's story was straight out of a Bollywood flick. Captained by Rani Rampal, India delivered their best-ever performance at the Olympic Games by making it into their first-ever semi-finals.

India was ranked ninth coming into the tournament and punched above their weight to reach semi-finals. They stunned higher-ranked Australia in the quarter-finals and suffered a close 2-1 defeat to Argentina in the semi-final.

Still in contention for a bronze, India had to endure another narrow loss against Great Britain, this time by 5-4. It was an inspirational campaign as Sjoerd Marijne coached team repeatedly punched above their collective weight.

Aditi Ashok (Golf)

Kawagoe : India's Aditi Ashok plays a shot from a bunker on the 7th hole during the final round of the women's golf event at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, August 7, 2021, at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe, Japan. | AP/PTI(AP08_07_2021_000025B)

Indian golfer Aditi Ashok ranked 200th in the world went to Tokyo Olympics without any expectations. However, Aditi’s turned out to be a surprise package as she came agonisingly close to clinching historic Olympic medal at the Tokyo 2020 in women’s individual strokeplay. Aditi finished 15 under and had to hit a birdie in the 72nd hole to force a bronze medal playoff with Lydia Ko. However, she failed to do so after rain interrupted her momentum.

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Published on: Saturday, August 07, 2021, 04:09 PM IST
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