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Olympics: India's painful tale of fourth place finishes

A look at the Indians who missed out on that all important podium finish in the Olympic Games.

Leander Paes Mahesh Bhupathi
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi never quite delivered in Tennis despite having three shots 

Sport give us unbelievable highs; it also gives us depressing lows. One man's triumph is another man's heartbreak. It has moments of possibilities which can make one hero for a lifetime or can mark others as underachievers forever. How does it feel when you slip from winning an Olympic medal by 1/100th of a second?

Gold, silver, bronze all get a prize, but finish fourth and you go home with nothing.

"Fourth is the worst place you want to finish," said British diver Peter Waterfield, whose single mistake in the 10-meter synchronized platform competition knocked him off the podium at the 2012 London Olympics. "I would rather finish last because at least you know that you missed every dive."

"Fourth seems like it would be nice," said U.S. cyclist Taylor Phinney who finished fourth in both of his events in London 2012, "but it's the worst place you can imagine at the Olympic Games. If you were going to tell me that I got a fourth at the Olympic Games twice two months ago, I'd have been like, 'Damn, that's impressive.' Now that I'm here, and I'm actually the guy getting fourth place, that's nice. But it was so close, s-o-o-o close.''

The agony of being close yet far.

Here is a list of Indians who missed out on an Olympic medal finishing fourth.

#1 Randhir Shindes in Antwerp, Belgium, 1920

Indian Olympic team 1920
The Indian Olympic contingent of the 1920 Olympics

This was the first time India as a team was competing in Olympics unlike 1900 Paris games where Norman Pritchard was the sole representative. It was an eight-member contingent comprising of 6 athletes and Sohrab Bhoot and AHA Fyzee, who served as managers for the team.

Shindes participated in Men’s Featherweight 60kg Freestyle Wrestling event. In the round of 16, he got a bye against Johnson of USA. He won his quarter-final bout against Henry Inman for Britain but lost to Samuel Gerson of USA in the semifinals and then lost to Philip Bernard of Great Britain in the bronze medal match.

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