India’s dismal show continues in Rio
Rio de Janeiro, (IANS):
Woman archer L. Bombayla Devi was the only bright spot in another dismal day for India at the Rio Olympics here on Wednesday, with medal hopeful Jitu Rai, judoka Avtar Singh and weightlifter Satish Shivalingam crashing out of their respective disciplines.
The women’s hockey team continued its poor show in its first Olympic appearance in 36 years, suffering a 1-6 thrashing against third-ranked Australia in the pool phase.
Bombayla advanced into the 1/8 Eliminations round, beating Taipei’s Shih-Chia Lin 108-101 at the Rio Olympics here on Wednesday.
Bombayla won 108-101 via 27-24, 27-24, 26-27, 28-26 at the Sambodromo.
Earlier, she defeated Austria’s Laurence Baldauff 105-98 in the 1/32 eliminations in the women’s individual round match.
But rest of the day’s action brought disappointment to India, which continues to search for its first medal in the Games.
Shooter Jitu finished 12th in the 50 metre Pistol qualification round, failing to reach the finals that will be competed by eight competitors.
Jitu consistently managed to hit the bull’s eye on nine occasions in his pet event and his cumulative scores after the six series qualification round read 92, 95, 90, 94, 95 and 88 to total 554. But a poor sixth round cost him the berth to the finals.
“I let my country down. There was wind but I don’t want to make any excuses,” a dejected Jitu told reporters.
In the same event, Prakash Nanjappa never really looked in the hunt with a score of 547 to bow out of the competitions after finishing 25th.
Weightlifter Satish Shivalingam crashed out of the men’s 77 kg elimination round, only managing to lift a total of 329 kg, which was not close to the best lift of 346 kg in his group.
Next to come up with a poor show was Avtar, who lost to Popole Misenga of the Refugee Olympic Team in judo’s 90 Kg elimination Round of 32. Avtar, from Punjab, lost by a single point following the end of five minutes of regular time.
The 24-year-old suffered two penalty points that made it difficult for him. Misenga, who hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo, effected a shoulder throw on him to seal the victory.
Meanwhile, in hockey, the Indian women’s team was outplayed 1-6 by Australia in its third group stage match as the morale-sapping crunching defeat raised big doubts over qualification for the quarter-finals.
The difference in class and quality between the two teams was clearly on display as World No.3 Australia scored through Kathryn Slattery (fifth minute), Georgina Morgan (ninth), Jane Claxton (35th), Georgina Parker (36th), Jodie Kenny (43rd and 46th).
It was world No.13 India’s second loss in three matches and they are now sixth in the Pool B standings. They will face world No.5 United States (Thursday) and world No.2 Argentina (Saturday).
After these disappointments, India will expect good news in tennis court when Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna begin their mixed doubles campaign, while boxer Manoj Kumar will also compete in the 64 kg first round.
Woman archer Deepika Kumari will also be in action in the 1/32 eliminations.