2004 edition of Summer Olympics was hosted at Athens, Greece. This year India sent almost 76 athletes to participate in 14 sports during the Games. IOA made Anju Bobby George the flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony and encouraged all the participants to give their level-best.
However, Athens 2004 Olympics hadn’t had much for India. Our country won just one medal. India participated in different games with 48 male and 28 athletes. It was only shooting that won a medal. Silver medal was the only and our best performance. But there were some other athletes who went close to podium finish. So here we come up with the top 5 performers, let’s take a quick look at them-
Anju Bobby George was an Indian athlete, who represented India at the Athens 2004 Olympics in long jump. She was a skilled jumper. She made Indian national record of 6.85 m distance during her jump.
Anju couldn’t win any medal at that event but she finished fifth. This new Indian national record in long jump was her career-best performance. Anju stayed at 5th best Indian performance at Athens Olympics.
4. Kunjarani Devi
Kunjarani Devi is another Indian Olympian, who missed a medal at the Athens 2004 Olympics. She participated in the women’s weightlifting, her weight category was 48 kg.
Devi finished fourth with a total weight of 190 kg and returned empty-handed despite her unimpeachable approach. Kunjarani Devi stayed at 4th best Indian performance at Athens Olympics.
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3/2. Leander Paes & Mahesh Bhupathi
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi represented India at Athens 2004 Olympics in men’s doubles. They won few doubles matches but couldn’t make it in the final. The Tennis Pair had a narrow miss to podium finish as they finished at 4th.
Leander Paes has an Olympic Bronze from Atlanta 1996 Olympics, but couldn’t repeat his singles performance here. Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupathi stayed at not better than 2nd best Indian performance at Athens Olympics.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is an Indian professional shooter, who represented India at Athens 2004 Olympics in the shooting. He participated in the men’s shooting double trap event where he won India a silver medal. Rathore, the shooter who would go on to become the Union Sports Minister, was the lone medalist.
Rajyavardhan Rathore was honored with what is India’s highest sports award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. This was in recognition to his podium finish this Olympic Games. Rathore’s performance stayed the best Indian performance at Athens Olympics.