It was a good start to Day Six for Team India, at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday. After the rowing team of Arjun and Arvind finished 11th, India’s best show at Olympics, Indian shuttler PV Sindhu beat Mia Blichfeldt in straight games to advance to quarters.
Indian hockey men’s team gave a confident performance to beat defending champions Argentina 3-0, and boxer Satish Kumar won his first match to advance to quarter-finals.
The much-talked about boxer and six-time world champion Mary Kom’s campaign came to an end as Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia knocked out India’s best bet with 3-2 final verdict in the 51kg category.
But how could one not celebrate the fact that the 38-year-old mother-of-four is still going strong and has promised not to stop just yet, even though her Olympic journey has drawn to a close now.
Before India celebrated her grit, it woke up to some fantastic news from the hockey stadium here. The Manpreet Singh-led men’s team hammered defending champion Argentina 4-1 in its penultimate group match to storm into the quarterfinals.
This was after badminton ace P V Sindhu set the tone for the day by advancing to the quarterfinals with a 21-15 21-13 win over Denmark’s Blichfeldt, expectedly topping her group in the process.
But the biggest triumph of the day was without doubt Atanu Das. Hardly anyone gave him a chance against two-time Olympic champion Oh Jin Hyek, but he definitely knew what needed to be done, displaying nerves of steel as his wife and fellow archer Deepika Kumari screamed her lungs out from the stands to support him. Atanu is now in pre-quarters, just like Deepika, who made it on Wednesday.
In the boxing ring, India’s first super heavyweight (+91kg) to compete in the Olympics, Satish Kumar, eased into the quarterfinals of his debut Games, defeating Jamaica’s Ricardo Brown in his opening bout.
India started strongly in the golf competition as well with Anirban Lahiri, playing in his second Olympics, off to a solid start, carding a 4-under 67 in the first round to be placed tied 8th at the lightning storm-struck Kasumigaseki Country Club.
The other Indian in the fray, Udayan Mane, who made the field of 60 at a late stage, had a fine start at 2-under after eight holes. But he finished at 5-over 76 and was last on the leaderboard.
There was some decent news from the shooting range too after continuous disappointment. Manu Bhaker and Rahi Sarnobat were placed 5th and 25th respectively in the women’s 25m pistol qualification (precision).
Indian rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh ended their campaign in 11th position in the men’s lightweight double sculls event, the best-ever result for the country in the Olympics.
The country’s swimming challenge also drew to a close with Sajan Prakash failing to make the semifinals of the 100m butterfly event.
On Friday, the blue-riband athletics competition will take off in the Japanese capital and India’s slim medal hopes will be from the sprightly but under-prepared star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who is due to compete on August 4.