India began its Olympic campaign in a mixed style as archer Atanu Das, made a remarkable comeback to finish 5th in the individual ranking round, while Deepika Kumari disappointed with a late slump. The Games were officially kicked off meanwhile amid great celebrations that lit up the Maracana.
Atanu started strongly and hit 58 points in the first end, and finished the half-way mark at the 15th position. He then topped it with a wonderful second-half display. In the penultimate end, he hit three bullseyes to score 59 points and moved into the seventh position. In the final round, Atanu held his nerve and scored 58 points to finish fifth with 683 points.
22-year-old Deepika Kumari, who equaled the world record in April at the Archery World Cup in Shanghai, looked on course for another milestone in the first five ends as she scored in the high 50s to reach the top of the standings with scores of 56, 54, 54, 58, 58. But, before the half-way mark, she lost her composure and fell to fifth in the rankings after scoring a below-par 49 points.
Her sudden dip in performance continued as she finally settled for the 20th spot in the rankings with 640 points.
Meanwhile, Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi finished 24th and 43rd respectively as the Indian women’s team took the seventh spot.
The Olympics were officially unveiled today in the Opening ceremony at the Maracana. The events unfolded in usual fashion but were lit up by a few beautiful gestures. The refugee International team which is competing under the IOC banner was greeted with wild cheers that equaled that for the host nation Brazil. Later, IOC President Thomas Bach thanked Brazil saying, “we have always believed in you”. He added that we live in a world where “selfishness” is gaining over and then welcomed the refugee team. “You had to flee your homes ... now with your human spirit you are making a great contribution to society. In this Olympic world ... we welcome you as an enrichment of our unity in diversity.”
Additionally, the hosts utilized the greatest stage in the world to highlight the environmental disaster facing our Earth if we do not act soon. The message was reiterated over the course of the evening as the opening videos gave way to a solemn gesture where each athlete was handed over a seed that will eventually be used to grow a park in Rio that will stand as the legacy from this Olympics. Wonderful!