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Tokyo Olympics 2020: Top 5 unforgettable moments for India at the 2016 Rio Olympics

  • 5 moments that made India proud during the 2016 Olympics
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 13 Mar 2020, 12:57 IST

Sakshi Malik making India proud.
Sakshi Malik making India proud.

The last Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was quite a rollercoaster for the Indian contingent. There were a few highs and a few lows. The 2-week long event was full of surprises that left us with a lot of things to speculate upon.

Even though India didn't fare as well as they had at the 2012 London Olympics, securing the 67th position, as opposed to the 55th position in London. A total of 117 contestants from India took part across 15 different disciplines. This comprised of 63 men and 54 women.

Between 6-8 medals were projected to be won by India, but they ended up with two. One was from PV Sindhu who secured the silver medal in badminton and the other was from Sakshi Malik who secured the bronze medal in wrestling. Both these fantastic females created history by winning medals in their respective sports.

Other Indian contestants may have not won, but they sure did make us proud. Dipa Karmarkar performed the death vault, 18-year-old Aditi Ashok was the first woman to qualify in golf at the Olympics, Dattu Bhokanal finished 4th in men's sculls and more.

The duo of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna played a thrilling match where they beat Andy Murray and partner Heather Watson to reach the semi-finals. They just fell short of the bronze medal.

As we said earlier, there were many ups and downs for India, but let's have a look at 5 most unforgettable moments for India at Rio 2016:

#1. Sakshi Malik's bronze medal win in wrestling

Sakshi Malik with her bronze Olympic medal.
Sakshi Malik with her bronze Olympic medal.

Sakshi Malik created history by winning India's first bronze medal in wrestling. Her story will be one of India's most memorable ones. She was down 0-5 against of Kyrgyzstan but she wasn't ready to give up just yet. She was extremely eager to end India's medal drought. She powered through and dominated the rest of the match as she won 8-5 in 58 kgs freestyle category.

That was quite a match with a very dramatic ended and she completely deserved that medal. After her win Malik mentioned that this was the result of her 12 years of training, she never gave up and gave it her best.


#2. PV Sindhu became the first Indian silver medallist in badminton

PV Sindhu proudly raising the Indian flag
PV Sindhu proudly raising the Indian flag

PV Sindhu is now a household name. Even though her teammate, Saina Nehwal, previously won the bronze medal at London, her eyes were set on gold.

Sadly, she had to settle for silver as she lost to Carolina Marin of Spain in three long, tight sets. Even though she just fell short of gold, the fans, the crowd and the country cheered with pride. Being the only woman to achieve the silver medal in Badminton at the Olympics, hopes are that at the 2020 Olympics, she could go one better and win gold.

#3. Dipa Karmarkar performing the deadly Produnova

Dipa sending a strong message by performing the impossible
Dipa sending a strong message by performing the impossible

Even though Dipa Karmakar didn't win a medal, she sure did something that very few have the guts to even attempt. She finished in 4th position and lost out on bronze by just a fraction in the Vault finals.

Her historic performance of the feared Produnova is a way for her to tell the competition that she is not to be taken lightly. She finished off by earning 15.006 points and missed out on 3rd place by just 0.15.

Karmakar was the first Indian female athlete to reach the finals of the Vault. She may not have won, but she did steal the hearts of many Indians and her country proud.

#4. Jitu Rai was the first shooter to qualify for Rio 2016

Jitu Rai, in his career, has been world no.1 in the 10m pistol discipline
Jitu Rai, in his career, has been world no.1 in the 10m pistol discipline

Jitu Rai became the first shooter to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. Unfortunately, he crashed out just before he could make it to the finals of the 50m pistol shooting event. He finished 12th in the six-series qualifying after being placed at 4th at the end of the 5th series and penultimate series at the Rio Olympics. His total aggregate score was 554.

In the 10m pistol event, he stood 8th in the finals. He had a rocky road to the finals as he just about made it through the qualifiers. Nevertheless, he can do better next time in Tokyo.

#5. Aditi Ashok, India's first female Olympic golfer

Back then, Aditi Ashok was just a teen golfer who made it to the finals
Back then, Aditi Ashok was just a teen golfer who made it to the finals

Aditi Ashok was just 18 years at the time she qualified for a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is said to be the youngest athlete to have qualified and she was India's only female golfer to have qualified for the Olympics. This in itself is a huge deal and tells us that India's future in golf isn't looking that bad.

She ended her journey at the 41st position, but there was even a point, little after the second round, that Aditi was tied at for 8th place. This was when she finished the second round under-6. Over two days she had shot 68-68.

She performed better than the Indian male golfers, SSP Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri who finished 50th and 57th. Aditi Ashok shows us that she has a promising career ahead of her and that Indian golfers can make it too.

You might also like: Rio Olympics 2016 | The journey of India's athletes in pictures

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Published 06 Feb 2020, 13:16 IST
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