While India’s boxing campaign ended and wrestling began on a disappointing note, the bright spot was shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advancing to the quarterfinals.
Here’s how the Indian Athelets performed in the 10th Day
India’s two standing badminton players, Srikanth and Sindhu kept the country’s slim medal hopes alive with wins in the quarterfinals. However, both their next matches will be against higher ranked Chinese players, and will be their toughest draws of the campaign so far.
Srikanth, ranked 11th in the world, topped Group H and became the second shuttler after P Kashyap in the 2012 London Games to reach the last eight in men’s singles. Srikanth continued his commanding form to register a 21-19, 21-19 win over Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen in just 42 minutes.
Srikanth will now face the tough task of beating China’s Lin Dan, the two-time defending champion and five-time world champion.
PV Sindhu, two-time World Championship bronze-medallist, advanced to the quarterfinals of the women’s singles, after notching up a dominating straight-game win over Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying.
Sindhu will face World No two Wang Yihan of China, which is expected to be a much tougher challenge.
India’s challenge in the boxing ring came to an end, with Vikas Krishan Yadav going down 0-3 to Bektemir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals of the men’s middleweight (75-kg) category.
Vikas put up a strong challenge in the opening round before crashing out 27-30, 26-30, 26-30 against the 2015 World Championship silver medallist. Both boxers were a bit cagey in the opening exchanges with the Uzbek using his height to land long range punches. The shorter Vikas was forced to keep his guard up and come in.
With Shiva Thapa (56kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) already out of contention, Vikas’ loss drew the curtains on the Indian boxing challenge at the Games.
Lalita Babar, India’s first track and field athlete to qualify for an Olympic final in 32 years, finished 10th, finishing the women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase round in 9 minutes, 22.74 seconds.
She had set a new national mark of 9:19.76s two days ago while qualifying for the final, but could not improve on it in a race won with a searing run to gold by Bahrain’s diminutive Kenyan-born Asian Games champion Ruth Jebet in 8:59.75s.
The 27-year-old from Maharashtra’s drought-prone Satara district, had become the second Indian woman after Usha to qualify for a final at an Olympic track event.
Meanwhile, Renjith Maheshwary finished 30th in the men’s triple jump qualification round to be out of contention. Competing in his second Olympics, Maheshwary found himself at 11th spot in the qualifiers, after an effort of 15.80 metres in his first attempt, which was way short of the qualification mark. In the second attempt, the Indian jumped 16.13m, which still was short of the qualification mark of 16.95m.
Srabani Nanda also failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the women’s 200 metres after finishing 55th among 72 athletes in Round 1. Srabani clocked 23.58 seconds, way below topper, Cote d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josee Talou (22.31 seconds).
Veteran discus thrower Seema Punia also failed to advance to finals, after finishing ninth in her qualifying round. Seema’s best throw of 57.58 metres came in her first attempt; she registered a foul in her next attempt, before finishing with 56.78m in her third and final attempt.
India’s wrestling campaign also began on a disappointing note, as Ravinder Khatri lost to Hungary’s Viktor Lorincz by technical superiority in men’s Greco-Roman 85kg first round.
The 24-year-old Indian failed to provide any resistance during a 0-9 loss to the World Championship bronze medallist. Khatri started the first round poorly and had no answers to the 26-year-old’s moves. Leading 4-0, the Hungarian took one more point to seal the first round in two minutes and 55 seconds. Lorincz then sealed his place at the 1/4 finals, effecting a huge take-down to gain four more points.