Today we bring you the best moments for India at the 2020 Olympics. These moments not only brought joy to a 1.3 bn country, but also added some historic feats to Indian Sports. While the medal moments are the ones that generally go to record books at the Olympics, there are moments other than these also in our memorabilia. Here we talk about the unforgettable memories for India at the 2020 Olympics.
#1. Mirabai Chanu Started It All!
The Indian Weightlifter in Women’s 49 Kg Weight Category attracted the first set of laurels as she’d win silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. This was the first medal of India at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics as she would lift 87 kg weight in snatch and 115 kg in clean & jerk, behind the gold medalist Hou Zhihui of China who lifted 94 kg in snatch and 116 kg in clean & jerk.
With this, she became the highest decorated Indian Weightlifter, overpassing the Bronze medal feat of Karnam Malleswari at the Sydney 2000 Summer Games. This was the second medal for India in Weightlifting, 29th Medal overall for India and 18th coming from Individual sports. This would go on the list of unforgettable memories for India at the 2020 Olympics, first of it all.
#2. Lovlina Assured Of A Second Delight!
Though Mirabai Chanu won a medal on the 24th of July, there’d be absolutely nothing coming for India for next few days. And to add to the worry, these days would have some World Number 1 or 2 going down without any fight. It would continue till July 30th, and the quarterfinal bout of Women’s Welterweight event where an inspired Lovlina Borgohain would win and assure Indian sports fan of at least a second medal. In the bout she’d defeat Taiwan’s Chen Nien-chin 4–1.
Her medal, however, would come of August 4 as she’d finish her Tokyo campaign with a bronze medal after going 0–5 down against reigning world Champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in the semifinal. This was the third medal for India at the 2020 edition of Summer Olympics. 31st Overall, third from boxing (and second from women’s boxing), 20th from Individual sports and 18th from Individual sports post independence. This would go on the list of unforgettable memories for India at the 2020 Olympics, second in the list. Another worth mention from Boxing was Satish Kumar, who, with 7 stitches, went down fighting against reigning World champion Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan.
#3. PV Sindhu Did It Again!
While Lovlina assured India of a second medal on July 30th, Sindhu extended the medal count by one, and became the second medalist for India at Tokyo. And she would become the first female double medalist for India at the Olympics. Sindhu started off her Tokyo campaign as one of the strongest medal contenders for India. This reflected in her initial matches as she would win all the way round till the semifinals in straight sets including her match against higher ranked Akane Yamaguchi. She’d, however, lose her semifinal against World Number 1 Tai Tzu-ying from Taiwan.
This loss would pit her against He Bingjiao of China, which she’d win 21–13, 21–15 to win the Bronze medal of the women’s singles event, thereby becoming second double medalist for Independent India at the Olympics in Individual events behind Sushil Kumar, 3rd for India overall in individual events (first was Norman Pritchard). This “first female” feat would go recorded on the list of unforgettable memories for India at the 2020 Olympics.
#4. Field Hockey Joined the Party!
If you are an ardent Indian sports fan or have been part of Indian sports fraternity, you’d know that the whole of India has been waiting for decades to see the dominance of Indian Hockey, the way it had in pre–astro turf era. 6 Olympic Gold back to back and 11 Olympic medals including 8 gold medals would be some history to look at. This was a fairytale story for people born post 1980, something they wanted to see in their lives as was for the Hockey heroes of yesteryears, and of the members of Olympic medalist teams.
Indian Men’s started off with a 3–2 win over New Zealand before getting routed by Australia. Skipper Manpreet Singh’s team came back stronger, stronger enough to play their first semifinal after Munich 1972 Summer Olympics (1980 Summer Games had no semifinals). A loss there to eventual champions Belgium and India were playing their last match against Germany for bronze. A 5–4 win in the bronze medal match ensured Indian Hockey team was returning with a medal after 41 years. The Women’s team had a similar finish, though they lost their Bronze medal match 3–4 in a close encounter.
This was the first time in Olympics that both Indian teams played the semifinals, first for the Women’s team. India was the only country to have both its teams featuring in top 4 at Tokyo. This “first time” and “only country” feat wouldn’t go unrecorded on the list of memorabilia for India at the 2020 Olympics.
#5. Ravi Kumar Dahiya Wrestled His Way In!
The Indian freestyle wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya entered the contest on August 4 with a win over Óscar Tigreros of Columbia to enter the Men’s Freestyle 57kg quarterfinal against Georgi Vangelov of Bulgaria. A win meant he was in the semifinal, pitted against Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan which he won to enter the Olympic title contest against Zaur Uguev. Reaching the title clash meant he ensured at least silver for India.
On August 5, the day when Indian Hockey team won a bronze medal, would have Ravi Kumar Dahiya playing the gold/silver match in the afternoon. Ravi couldn’t push the final frontier, however, to win gold, but his grit in the previous matches ensured he was going to return to India with a Silver medal, India’s 5th medal at Tokyo and 33rd overall. This was the sixth medal ever coming from freestyle wrestling for India. The feat got recorded on the memorabilia for India at the 2020 Olympics.
#6. Bajrang Made It Double Delight!
Even before the start of campaign for India at the 2020 Olympics, Bajrang Punia was considered as one of India’s top prospects for podium finish. Punia was world number 2 in Men’s Freestyle 65-kg Wrestling and a multiple World Championships medalist. His feat before Olympics included Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Asian Wrestling Championships medals as well, thus, a profile of Olympic medal contender.
Bajrang won against Ernazar Akmataliev of Kyrgyzstan, followed it up with a win over Morteza Ghiasi of Iran in the quarterfinal. His semifinal bout against Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan stopped his campaign further, meaning he was pitted against Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan and he would end his Tokyo campaign with a Bronze. This was India’s sixth medal at the Tokyo Olympics, as India equalized their best tally ever at the Olympics, something they achieved at London 2012 Olympics. This was among the feats added to the memorabilia for India at the 2020 Olympics.
#7. Neeraj Ensured A Golden Finish!
What is better than ending a games campaign with something which was missing for the contingent? Yes, Neeraj Chopra gave India what India had missed so far in Tokyo, a gold medal finish. And what added more colors to the celebrations were the facts that this was going to be the first medal for India in Athletics in 121 years, and second individual gold medal ever. The U20 World Championship 2016 Gold medalist in Javelin Throw had progressed since then to become the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Asian Championships Gold medalist.
Neeraj would start his campaign at the Olympics with an 86.65 m throw. His throw would ensure he was in the finals as the highest ranked Athlete. His first throw of 87.03 m wouldn’t even be surpassed by any other throwers and his second throw of 87.58m exceeded his first throw. His other throws won’t go as far but the fact that no other athlete could cross even his first throw meant he was bringing home what India dreamt forever. This was the first gold medal for India in Athletics, and second gold medal for the country in individual events, 10th gold overall & 35th medal overall. Thus, this was among the feats added to the memorabilia for India at the 2020 Olympics.
#8. Lest We Forget Aditi and Her Feat!
There are some feats which don’t get registered on medal tables. And one such feat for India at the 2020 Olympics was of Aditi Ashok. The World Number 200 entered her second consecutive Olympics as a participant and got some of the top golfers of the world under pressure. Golf at Olympics was a 72 holes event and till the start of 4th round (last 18 holes) Aditi was at number 2 in the points table. As the day progressed, she kept her show consistent, once even leading the participants on the points table.
When rains halted the game with 2 holes remaining she was at joint third, but lost the battle after resumption of the game to finish fourth. Her fourth place was so close to a medal finish that 2 shots less and she’d finish her Olympics Campaign as a Silver medalist. By the time she had finished her campaign, she had ensured that more than a few million Indians had searched for Golf rules and also the regulations in case of incessant rains, thus, added in the memorabilia for India at the 2020 Olympics.
These were the memorable moments for India at the 2020 Olympics. This is it for today. Hope you liked it, don’t forget to comment in your thoughts and questions. Stay well and keep reading about our T20 Cricket stars.
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