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Aditi Ashok joins select list of 6 individual Indian athletes to finish 4th at the Olympics

Aditi Ashok of Team India reacts during the final round of the Women's Individual Stroke Play at Tokyo 2020 Olympic
Aditi Ashok of Team India reacts during the final round of the Women's Individual Stroke Play at Tokyo 2020 Olympic
ANALYST

Indian golfer Aditi Ashok missed out on clinching a medal in the women's individual stroke play by the narrowest of margins. Aditi Ashok, who is ranked 200th in the world, finished fourth.

She lost the bronze by one shot to New Zealand's Lydia Ko. To put Aditi Ashok's achievement in context, the New Zealand golfer had became World No. 1 at 17. Lydia Ko is currently ranked 11th and won the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and has 16 LPGA tour titles to her name.

Results of Women's Individual strokeplay after Round 4
Results of Women's Individual strokeplay after Round 4

Aditi Ashok's heartbreaking fourth-place finish placed her placed her alongside the likes of Milkha Singh, PT Usha, Gurcharan Singh, Kunjarani Devi, Joydeep Karmakar, Abhinav Bindra and Dipa Karmakar. They all narrowly missed out on a medal and finished fourth in their respective events at the Olympics.

Here are some memorable near-misses by the Indians at the Olympics.

#1 Milkha Singh at 1960 Rome Olympics

Milkha Singh at the finish line during the men's 400m at the 1960 Rome Olympics (Credits: https://olympics.com/)
Milkha Singh at the finish line during the men's 400m at the 1960 Rome Olympics (Credits: https://olympics.com/)

Legendary sprinter Milkha Singh nearly won a medal for India at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Participating in the men's 400m race, Milkha Singh finished fourth behind South Africa's Malcolm Spence.

Milkha Singh was ahead of Malcolm Spence for most of the race, but the Indian sprinter slowed down a bit before the final turn. That gave Malcolm Spence an opportunity to overtake Milkha Singh.

Malcolm Spence eventually crossed the finish line in third place, clocking a time of 45.5s. Milkha Singh was close behind and missed out on a medal by a mere 0.1 seconds.

#2 PT Usha at 1984 Los Angeles Olympics

PT Usha
PT Usha

Twenty-four years after Milkha Singh's fourth-place finish, another close finish broke a million Indian hearts. This time the 'so close yet so far' moment was in the women's 400m hurdles and the athlete was PT Usha.

In the final, PT Usha was slow off the blocks, but she recovered well. So competitive was the race that as many as five athletes were in contention for a medal. PT Usha competed hard with Romanian Cristieana Cojocaru for the bronze medal.

However, at the finish line, Cristieana Cojocaru made a decisive dive to ensure herself a third-place finish. It was a photofinish between PT Usha and Cristieana Cojocaru. After the race it was realized that the Indian sprinter had missed the medal by just 0.01 seconds.

#3 Kunjarani Devi at 2004 Athens Olympics

Kunjarani Devi
Kunjarani Devi

At the 2004 Athens Olympics, weightlifter Kunjarani Devi came close to becoming the second Indian woman after Karnam Malleswari to win a medal. Representing India in the women's 48 kg weightlifting competition, Kunjarani Devi finished fourth behind Aree Wiratthaworn of Thailand. Aree Wiratthaworn lifted a total weight of 200kg while Kunjarani Devi lifted 190kg. It was yet another fourth-place finish for an Indian athlete at the Olympics.

#4 Joydeep Karmakar at the 2012 London Olympics

Joydeep Karmakar of India competes during the London 2012 Olympic Games
Joydeep Karmakar of India competes during the London 2012 Olympic Games

Rifle shooter Joydeep Karmakar came tantalizingly close to winning a medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Joydeep Karmakar finished fourth in the 50m rifle prone event. The difference between Joydeep Karmakar and a medal was only half a point.

Joydeep Karmakar qualified for the final with a score of 595. In the final, the scores of his 10 shots were as follows: 10.1, 10.6, 10.7, 10.5, 10.7, 10.2, 10.0, 10.2, 10.7 and 10.4. So the grand total for his final 10 shots was 104.1.

Slovakia's Rajmond Debevec had his final 10 shots as follows: 10.2, 10.5, 10.7, 10.3, 10.6, 10.8, 10.2, 10.6, 10.5 and 10.6. Rajmond Debevec's grand total for his final 10 shots was 105.0.

For the final evaluation, the total score of the final 10 shots is added to the score in the in the final. Rajmond Debevec's score in the qualifier was 596 and he eventually ended with a total score of 596+105=701.

Joydeep Karmakar's final score was 595+104.1=699.1. Rajmond Debevec went on to clinch the bronze medal and Joydeep Karmakar had to remain satisfied with a fourth-place finish.

#5 Abhinav Bindra at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Abhinav Bindra
Abhinav Bindra

Beijing Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra came agonizingly close to clinching another medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. In the Qualifying Round, he collected 625.7 points to go through to the final.

However, Abhinav Bindra finished fourth in his last final to miss out on a second Olympic medal. It was yet another near miss for an Indian athlete at the Olympics.

#6 Dipa Karmakar 2016 Rio Olympics

Dipa Karmakar of India competes in the Women's Vault Final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena
Dipa Karmakar of India competes in the Women's Vault Final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena

Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian gymnast at an Olympic Games when she booked a spot for herself at the 2016 Rio Games. The gymnast caught the world by surprise as she fought hard for a podium finish.

Dipa Karmakar scored a brilliant 15.066 to finish fourth in the women's vault final. She scored 14.866 on her first vault attempt and scored 15.266 on her second attempt. However, the bronze medal was clinched by Switzerland's Giulia Steingruber with a score of 15.216.

It was a close miss for Dipa Karmakar.

Also read: "The day India learned golf": Twitter salutes Aditi Ashok's stellar performance at the Olympics

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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