Before the Indian contingent departed for the Rio 2016 Olympics, a lot of debate took place on where India could finish in the medals tally. There were questions asked about the number of medals it can bring. Will they match their count from the London Olympics four years ago? Or will India see a dip in the medal count? The way India officials promised a 10-plus medal count raised hopes of fans back home. Even players promised a good show.
But even after three days of the Rio Games, India is yet to open their medal account and hopes of matching the medal count from London look bleak. But this should not ring alarm bells for India or its fans.
India was hoping that on Day 3, when two of it’s most experienced shooters, Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang come out for their competition, they return with medals and open India’s account at the Games. But it was not to be as both shooters failed to finish in the top three spots of the men’s 10m air rifle event.
There are still a lot of events in which India can expect to win. Heena Sidhu will be playing her 10m air pistol event on Tuesday while the boxing, wrestling and badminton events are yet to begin. Even Jitu Rai will take aim in the his main 50m air pistol event and is medal hope.
While the performance of the shooters has been below expectations this time, India can still hope that their biggest ever wrestling contingent compromising Yogeshwar Dutt and Narsingh Yadav can bring home at least two medals.
Badminton start Saina Nehwal, a bronze medallist from London Olympics, will look to better her performance and on her day, she can beat the best in competition. She will be India’s biggest medal hope and one can even expect a gold. Even P V Sindhu can surprise as she has done in the past. A medal from badminton looks a possibility.
Though Indian boxers have got a tough draw at Rio Olympics, there is still a chance that one of the three boxers can win a medal from this Olympics. Vikas Krishan, Shiva Thapa and Manoj Kumar will try and bring India’s second medal in boxing in Olympics history.
The Indian men’s hockey team has given a lot of hope after its two good performances so far in the tournament. India should qualify from the group to the quarter-finals and once in the knockouts, it will a matter of remaining calm and bring the best game to the field. There is no denying that the Indian team has an outside chance of winning a medal in Rio.
And then there is the mixed doubles team of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna who can surprise anyone. Since the competition has become a shade easier due to many top players pulling out, India can hope for a second medal from the game of tennis at the Olympics.
India has still not won the first medal and that puts a lot of pressure on the player who can become the country’s first medallist in Rio. Once India opens its account, a lot others can perform without pressure and we can see more players returning home with a medal.