Image source: The Indian Express
By Delta India
India was 48th in Tokyo’s medal tally, its highest ranking in more than 40 years. If one considers the total number of medals won, India would be 33rd. Rankings are based mainly on the number of gold medals that India has won. The 51st rank at Beijing 2008 was India’s previous best. India won three gold medals, including Abhinav Bindra’s.
India finished higher than it did in the time when it won gold in hockey. However, that time isn’t comparable due to the many countries that have emerged since then and the increase in medals and sports. For example, India was 23rd in Moscow but only won one medal, the hockey golden. India would have finished at joint 63rd if they had done the same at Tokyo to show how vastly different these two eras are.
NEERAJ CHOPRA: Men’s javelin throw· Athletics
There were bigger names with better records in Tokyo. While most people succumbed under the pressure of the big screen, the boy from Haryana’s Panipat District enjoyed the moment and reacted with joy. Millions were moved to tears when they heard the national anthem at Olympic Games for the first time since Beijing 2008. This is the fitting conclusion to the story about Neeraj Chopra, who discovered the sport while trying to lose weight.
MIRABAI CHANU: Women’s 49kg·Weightlifting
The 26-year old Manipur woman smiled and made light of the heavyweights to win a silver medal in the 49kg category. Redemption was more fulfilling and sweeter than ever for the woman who, as a child, picked up logs to provide winter fuel for her family.
RAVI KUMAR DAHIYA: Men’s freestyle 57kg·Wrestling
The 23-year-old Olympic debutant, Sonipat, was a proud winner. Kumar displayed a feat of incredible courage and endurance, despite being trailing Nurislam Sanayev 2-9 in the semis. Dahiya refused to let go of the Kazakh’s iron grip until the tide turned. Dahiya, who fought hard but was defeated in the final, became India’s second-silver medal-winning wrestler following Sushil Kumar.
MEN’S TEAM – Hockey
None of them was born in the year India won its last Olympic hockey medal. Nothing, not even a 7-1 defeat to Australia that could be morale-sapping, could stop Manpreet Singh and his boys from trying their best for the podium. They came back from the defeat to produce another outstanding performance, leading to a bronze playoff. It was a match for the ages against Germany. For the rest of your life, you can watch India’s victory 5-4. This team has the potential to win many more.
PV SINDHU: Badminton
She looked a little below her best in the beginning stages of Tokyo. Pusarla Venkata Sinhu was a precise instrument that hits the right notes when the tournament reached its peak. To add another Olympic medal to her collection, she defeated Chinese He Bing Jiao 21-13-21-15 in the bronze medal playoff. PV Sindhu is a master at swatting aside Chinese He Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15 in the bronze medal playoff to add another Olympic medal to her kitty.
LOVLINA BORGOHAIN: Boxing
Her preparation was affected by Covid-19. The tall Assam pugilist tried to make the most of her situation. To keep fit, she lifted LPG cylinders and worked in the paddy fields. Lovlina demonstrated to the world that she was able to box fearlessly with the best in Tokyo. She stood five feet nine inches tall and used her impressive reach to create an incredible medal story.
BAJRANG PNIA: Men’s freestyle 65kg·Wrestling
He had a knee injury. The opponents were aware of it. They attacked his legs. The battle for third place saw the Haryana’s Jhajjar District 27-year-old produce a stunning medal-winning performance against Kazakhstani’s Daulet Nyazbekov, who had previously beaten him. 8-0 is the scoreline that tells the story of a winner against all odds.