Rio Olympics 2016 Day 2 Round-up: Dipa Karmakar and Michael Phelps excel, Novak Djokovic tumbles
Day 2 of Rio 2016 was a power-packed one, with some mammoth action in almost every sport. India’s Dipa Karmakar was the star of the show, qualifying for the Vault finals to be held this weekend, succeeding at a stage no Indian woman has ever seen before.
Here’s what happened across the biggest sports:
Swimmers break records
Swimmers Adam Peaty of Great Britain and Team USA’s Katie Ledecky both broke world records today.
Ledecky won her second Olympic gold medal with a victory in the 400m freestyle. The 19-year-old clocked a superb 3:56.46 in the finale race today which exceeded the standing world record of 3:58:37 by almost two seconds.
In the heats of the same event earlier, the teenager had set the best ever Olympic timing of 3:58.71.
21-year-old Adam Peaty, making his Olympic debut won his first Olympic gold today with a victory in the 100m breastroke. He broke his own record for a second time, and with a 57.13s laptime broke his own personal best by over a second.
After his performance at the heats, Peaty had been the favourite to win today, and did so in spectacular fashion; his coach having previously discussed that Peaty would likely manage a 57.3s finish ahead of his performance today.
Legendary swimmer Michael Phelps, who is the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, today won his 19th gold medal – and 23rd Olympic medal overall with a win at the men’s 4x100m relay, helping team USA over the line against closest rivals France.
Indian gymnast shatters glass ceilings
Dipa Karmakar, even before the Olympic Games at Rio 2016, set a number of records. The 22-year-old Tripura native is one of only five gymnasts in the world to have landed the difficult Produnova vault, which has the potential to be fatal if executed incorrectly – and it is known as the ‘Death Vault’ for this reason.
Karmakar qualified for the final of the Women’s Vault in the Artistic Gymnastics final, to be held on 14 August, finishing the qualification stage at eighth spot in this apparatus.
In the four rotations, Karmakar’s scores were Vault (14.850), Uneven Bars (11.666), Balance beam (12.866), Floor (12.033).
She ended with an average score of 51.665 and was placed at 28th overall. While a qualification for the final in the other categories eluded her by a fair distance, she has managed to finish among the best in her pet event, the Vault.
Her final will be held on the 14th of August at 11pm IST.
The Indian women’s hockey team played their Rio 2016 opener yesterday against an attacking Japan side. The Indians were on the backfoot early on this match, with Japan drawing first blood.
Emmie Nishikori scored in the dying moments of the first quarter to give Japan a lead as the first fifteen minutes of play closed out.
Under the captaincy of Sushila Chanu, India, who conceded another goal at the end of the second quarter just before the half-time bell, but India had by then begun to fight back. It was Rani Rampal who opened the scoring for India, building on a penalty corner. Teammate Lilima Minz helped make up the deficit, scoring off another penalty corner to equalize.
Goalkeeper Savita Punia pitched in with a save towards the end of the match to keep the result to a draw.
The match also marked the Indian women’s qualification after a 36-year gap.
Arguably the most shocking results came out of the tennis today, with the top-ranked Novak Djokovic exiting the tournament tamely at the hands of a resurgent Juan Martin del Potro. The tall Argentine, who denied Djokovic bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games, today was simply the better player, pulling out his powerful forehand to deny the Serb an opportunity at an Olympic medal, the one glory that still eludes him.
The win marked Del Potro’s second top 5 win this year, after he ousted fourth seed Stan Wawrinka from Wimbledon. Wawrinka has sat out Rio 2016 with a back injury.
Considering Del Potro’s struggles with injury following his US Open win in 2009 over Roger Federer, the Argentine will be buoyed by his recent performances.
The doubles also saw a number of upsets, with Andy and Jamie Murray knocked out of the men’s doubles, and defending champions Venus and Serena Williams knocked out in the women’s – which also ended the older Williams sister’s Olympic hopes after she was knocked out in the singles by Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens.
Manavjit Sandhu and Kynan Chenai of India both shot yesterday at Day 1 of the men’s trap qualifications, ending up in 17th position ahead of the 19th-placed Chenai. Sandhu had had a strong start to the day, having moved to as high as third before a series of bad shots saw him drop rapidly down the rankings.
Sandhu faltered towards the end of his first set, which would prove to be instrumental in his drop down the rankings.
Chenai saw a similar fate, starting off strong but unable to fire in the end.
Their second round of qualification, in addition to the semi-finals and finals of the event, will all be held today.
After a lackluster showing on Day 1, India’s women’s archery team put in a good fight on Day 2. After beating Colombia earlier in the day, the team of Deepika Kumari, Lakshmirani Majhi and Bombayla Devi faced Russia in the quarterfinals.
Despite trailing initially, the trio put in a valiant effort to match up to Russia.
In the end, it was a narrow miss for Kumari, Majhi and Devi in the team event, as their Rio 2016 juggernaut ends. There is still a silver lining, however – this was one of the strongest performances the team have put up.