Day 1 of Rio Olympics turned out to be unpleasant for India with the much-expected Paes-Bopanna pair, Sania-Prarthana duo crashing out in the first round, while the shooters and table tennis players also disappointed. However, the men's hockey team got off to a winning start over Ireland.
The Indian shooting contingent got off to a disappointing start after Apurvi Chandela and Ayonika Paul failed to qualify for the finals in the women’s 10m air rifle event. However, in the 10 M air pistol event, Jitu Rai made a remarkable comeback to sneak into the final, but failed to replicate his form as he finished last in the final of the 10 M air pistol event today. The man from Lucknow lost the plot early on and could not recover, but will be back for his favorite 50m pistol event on Wednesday.
In the men's doubles tennis event, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna crashed out in the very first round to end India's hopes in one of the most expected events. The duo lost in straight sets to Poland’s Marcin Matkowski & Lukasz Kubot 4-6, 6-7 (6-7) as Paes' seven-Olympics legacy comes to an end. The legend would have expected to go out on a high, but he had hardly made a case for it in the run-up and should blame himself for this debacle.
Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare put up a vailant fight in the women's doubles event against the Chinese duo of Peng Shuai and Zhang Shuai but came up short in the end losing 7-6, 5-7, 7-5 to exit the tournament in another major loss for India.
The men's hockey team got their Olympic campaign off to a winning start, albeit a strenuous one, with a 3-2 win over Ireland in the Group B fixture at Rio on Saturday. VR Raghunath scored once and Rupinder Pal Singh scored twice from penalty corners, as India held on despite Ireland taking the match to the wire by pulling two goals back towards the end.
Meanwhile, India’s sole rower Dattu Bhokanal entered the men’s singles sculls event after finishing third in the first heat of the day at Lagoa stadium in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The quarter-final stage of the event will take place on Tuesday (August 8) at 5pm at the Lagoa stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Additionally, another hope in the weightlifting arena, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, who competed in the 48 kg category, also disappointed. Chanu lifted only 82 kg in the snatch much lower than her career-best of 90 kg. Her bid to make up for it in the clean & jerk with a 106 kg foist also failed as the Indian's bid came to a disappointing end.
The table tennis event also was disappointing with all four Indian players crashing out in the first round. Mouma Das and Manika Batra in the women's event had lost with the latter putting up a hard fight before going down. In the men's event, Soumyajit Ghosh and Sharath Kamal, who is playing in his last Olympics, both lost to end India's hopes in the discipline.
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