The news from Rio de Janeiro was not encouraging from an Indian perspective barring one exceptional performance from gymnast Dipa Karmakar+, who qualified for the finals of the vault event. India’s contingent struggled to produce dominant performances at the Olympics for the second day running.Dipa scripted history as she became the first Indian to make the cut for the individual vault finals in her debut Olympic Games after finishing eighth in the qualifying round.She managed to perform her much-appreciated ‘Produnova’ vault cleanly to secure 14.850 points after two attempts. It was a nervous wait, for she had ended sixth after the third sub-divisions with two more to go. She dropped to 8th eventually when Canadian Shallon Olsen’s effort of 14.950 reshuffled the overall standings.But that was just about enough to secure her a place in the finals scheduled for August 14 as the top-8 made the cut for the medal round. Dipa secured 7.000 on difficulty and 8.1 on execution in her first attempt. Her score for difficulty was a tad lower at 6.000 in the second attempt.In shooting, Heena Sidhu+ failed to qualify for the 10m women’s air pistol event while her male compatriots Manavjit Singh Sandhu+ and Kynan Chenai were precariously placed headed into the Monday’s second round of men’s trap qualifications, while the women’s archery team was narrowly beaten in the quarterfinals of their event.
In the individual all-round ranking, she is at 27th spot with no chance of making it to the final of the event. In all-round, she registered scores of 15.100 (vault), 11.666 (uneven bars), 12.866 (balance beam) and 12.033 (floor exercise), finishing with a cumulative score of 51.665The best result of the day was the Indian women’s hockey team+ drawing 2-2 with Japan in their first Olympics appearance since 1980.Indeed, the return of Indian women’s hockey to the Olympics after 36 years ended on a promising note, as the team, ranked 13th in the world, rallied from 0-2 to having conceded two goals in the first half. Goal-less at half-time, India rebounded throughRani Rampal in the 31s minute and Lilima Minz in the 40th for a superb rearguard effort.India next play Great Britain in their next pool match at 02:35 IST on Tuesday.Before the draw with Japan, the big new of the day was the women’s archery team, comprising of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi and Bombayla Devi, holding their nerve to beat Colombia 5-3 in the pre-quarter-finals at the Sambodrome.Having clinched the first set 52-51, the Indian archers lost the second set 49-50 with Deepika hitting a 7-point shot at the end to somewhat negate the good work of Bombayla and Laxmirani. In the third set, however, Deepika nailed a 10-pointer early on before the Colombians rallied to level the scores 52-52. In the fourth and final set, the last of the Colombian archers succumbed under pressure and came up with a bizarre 3-point shot to hand India a 52-44 victory and a place in the quarter-finals.However, come the bigger stage and the team ended up losing by two points+against their Russian counterparts.The news from the Olympic Shooting Centre was not encouraging. The former world No 1 Sidhu finished 14th to exit her first event of the Games, and when day one of the men’s trap qualification ended, three-time Olympian Sandhu and debutant Chenai were placed 17th and 19th respectively.The 39-year-old Sandhu – who went to the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Games and has won at every major tournament barring the Olympics – fell from third place to 17th whileChenai, 25, held onto ninth place for a period but slipped down to 19th position at the end of the day. The pair will resume shooting at 18:00 IST on Monday, but their chances of making the final look slim.
India’s Results on Day 2
Shooting (women): Heena Sidhu failed to qualify for the finals of 10m Air Pistol, finishing 14th.
Shooting (men): Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Kynan Chenai finished 17th and 19th respectively. Chances of a semi-final spot slim
Gymnastics (women): Dipa Karmakar qualifies for Vault Final finishing 8th in the qualifying round.