Tokyo: Kamalpreet Kaur was the only saving grace for India at the Tokyo Olympics, as the others, including PV Sindhu, failed to live up to the expectations of the 140 crore people back home, on the 8th day of the Games on Saturday.
From Kabarwala village in Punjab's Muktsar district, Kaur now stands within striking distance of fetching India a historic athletics medal at the Olympic Games after qualifying for the finals with a 64m throw, a brilliant effort.
There was some sign of relief for the women's hockey team as they pulled out a hard-fought 4-3 win over South Africa and through to the quarter-finals as Great Britain beat Ireland.
Otherwise, it has been all unwelcome news for Indians as their shooters, one of the best bets India had at the Games, Anjum Moudgil and Tejaswini Sawant, failed to make the finals of the women's 50m rifle 3 positions event, settling for the 15th and 33rd position respectively.
This was followed by Indian archers Atanu Das exit in the pre-quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics here on Saturday. Das, who knocked out London Olympics gold medallist Oh Jin Hyek in the last-32, failed to overcome home favourite Takaharu Furukawa, a silver winner in the 2012 edition, and lost 4-6 in an intense five-setter.
And in boxing, star Indian boxer Amit Panghal (52kg) bowed out with a stunning 1-4 loss to Rio Games silver-medallist Yuberjen Martinez, beaten by the Colombian's relentless attacks and pace in a draining pre-quarterfinal bout.
As the sun sets down, so are the medal hopes of India, as of now we just have two medals assured, one in weightlifting where Manubhai won on the opening day, and boxer Lovlina waiting in the wings as she is already guaranteed a bronze medal and if she goes ahead winning her semifinal, a silver or gold could be coming to India.
Sindhu did make a good beginning as she had Tai trailing for most of the time in the first game. However, there were glimpses of some aggression by the Taipei shuttler who came up with some deceptive drop shots and smashes to quell Sindhu's dream of making it to the second consecutive Olympic final with a 21-18, 21-13 win.
The 26-year-old silver-medallist from the Rio Games Sindhu, however, remained in the hunt for a bronze and will be competing against China's He Bing Jiao in the third place play-off at Musashino Forest Plaza on Sunday.
One of the most consistent players, who has claimed medals in all big-ticket events in the last five years, Sindhu couldn't counter Tai Tzu's deception with her aggressive game, going down 18-21 12-21 here.
"I'm a bit sad because it's the semifinals, but I tried my best, it's just not my day. I fought until the end," said Sindhu after the match.
India in action at the Olympics today
04.00: Anirban Lahiri and Udayan Mane in Men's Individual Stroke Play
04.15: Fouaad Mirza in Eventing Cross Country Team
9.36: Satish Kumar in men's super heavy
P V Sindhu in women's singles bronze medal
17.30: India vs Great Britain in men's quarterfinal
1 China 21 13 12 46
2 Japan 17 5 8 30
3 USA 16 17 13 46
4 ROC 11 15 11 37
5 Australia 10 3 14 27
6 GB 8 9 11 28
7 Korea 5 4 7 16
8 France 4 9 6 19
9 Holland 4 7 5 16
10 NZealand 4 3 3 10
60 India 0 1 0 1
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