10 young Indians who failed to win a medal, but showed promise at Rio 2016
Here's a look at India's talents who did not win medals, but showed great hopes for India's sporting future.
It’s the end of Rio 2016, and India, who had a 119-member contingent at the quadrennial games, ended today with India netting two medals – a bronze for freestyle wrestler Sakshi Malik, followed quickly by silver for Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu.
Barring those two performances, it has been a disappointing run for the Indian contingent in Brazil. That said, a number of players showed immense promise at the Games.
Here, we look at ten of India’s future Olympians, who made their mark this year too:
22-year-old tennis player Prarthana Thombare made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016, partnered by the best in the business – doubles World No. 1 Sania Mirza. The two had previously partnered each other to success at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, where they won bronze, but at Rio were unable to fire.
The Indians saw a first-round exit in the women’s doubles courtesy the powerful Chinese pair of Shuai Peng and Zhang Shuai in a three-set match. Although they lost the first set, Mirza and Thombare, who trains at the Sania Mirza Academy in Hyderabad, showed all the signs of putting up a resilient fight as they won the second.
At key moments where the experienced Mirza remained unable to hold serve, or appeared nervous, it was Thombare who held both; this was perhaps instrumental in the Indian pair’s loss being closer than it would otherwise have been.
Thombare has all the markings of a future doubles champion, much like Mirza. Although she is not 'young’ by tennis players' standards, the Solapur native, whose tennis career is quickly on the upswing, could hold future hopes for India’s success at tennis.