India has sent a total of 117 participants in the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Out of these athletes, 63 men and 54 women had participated in a total of 67 events. These events included archery, athletics, badminton, boxing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, judo, rowing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.
Currently, India holds 28 medals in its Olympic history including PV Sindhu’s gold expectation in the finals of Women’s Badminton Singles. The head of the Sports Authority in India, Injeti Srinivas, said that the country expected around 10 to 14 medals from the athletes this year. Sakshi Malik is the first Indian to win a medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. The female wrestler brought home a bronze after defeating Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan.
India’s rifle shooter, Abhinav Bindra, who won India’s first individual gold at Beijing Olympics in 2008, managed to stage the 4th position without a medal at the Rio Olympics. He quotes, ” Each medal costs the UK 5.5 million pounds. That’s the sort of investment needed. Let’s not expect much until we put systems in place at home “. Moreover, Saina Nehwal’s exit came as the biggest disappointment to India.
Dipa Karmakar is the first Indian woman to qualify for Olympic gymnastics and proudly finished the vault finals with 4th position. Her use of the “Produnova,” an aerial double somersault which is so dangerous that most gymnasts never attempt it, got her immense success at the Rio Olympics. Her coach cites, “We have to take this risk because we are not a strong nation when it comes to gymnastics. Dipa attempts the Produnova because it can get her bigger points and a chance to enter the finals of the tournaments”. Also, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna finished 4th in the Mixed Doubles Tennis match.
PV Sindhu’s glorious entry into the finals of the women’s singles badminton championship has guaranteed a medal for India. Defeating world rank 6, Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, she now aims for gold against Carolina Marin, ranked No. 1 in the world.
The country’s pride, Sakshi Malik, is set to be honoured with the Khel Ratna Award, a cash prize of INR 2 crore as well as a government job in Haryana. Dipa Karmakar and Jitu Rai have also been recommended for the Khel Ratna Award.
India still hopes for medals as the games aren’t yet over. Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, a bronze medalist in London Olympics, will be competing on the last day of the Games.
With a population of more than 1.3 billion people, India’s poor performance at Rio Olympics is an eye opener for the coming future games. The importance of Olympics needs to be the priority of the sports federations in India. A big question arises. Can other sports activities get the same attention and facilities as cricket? Indians aren’t as interested as cricket in any other sport. The lackluster interest in other sport is the main setback of the inadequate performance in Rio Olympics.
Indian Sports Federations must improvise their facilities, provide more enthrallment in the athlete’s training and encourage the youth to join sports.