Rio 2016 | Archers and boxer Manoj Kumar dazzle, while Jitu Rai falters

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Rio 2016 | Archers and boxer Manoj Kumar dazzle, while Jitu Rai falters

Archers Deepika Kumari and Bombayla Devi won their matches to reach the pre-quarters, while boxer Manoj Kumar won an upset to also enter the pre-quarters in the 64 kg category. But Jitu Rai once again disappointed in the 50m pistol event, while the women's hockey team badly lost their match today.

So close, yet so far for Jitu once again

Jitu Rai had had a bad outing earlier in the 10m pistol event, but today was his favorite - the 50m pistol event.

He made a flying start to the qualifiers with a 10-pointer, and then followed it up with two 9s. But that start did not last long as Jitu fell behind a bit with some mediocre shooting in the latter part. At one point, he dropped down to the 14th place after scoring 92 out of a possible 100 from the first round.

After a disappointing first round, Jitu Rai was back in his element, though. He hit three bullseyes to hit a 95 in the second round and take his total to 187 points. However, inconsistency did not leave Jitu Rai, as he struggled once again in the third round. He managed only 90 points in that round and dropped down to the 12th spot.

But, Jitu made up for the third round with some fantastic shooting in the fourth and the fifth. It was not to be in the end, though. After starting the last round in fourth place, he messed up his first three shots to slip to 6th. With only the top-8 qualifying for the final, he came back to 4th but again hit an 8 in the 6th shot. Another bad shot of 7 on the penultimate shot and he missed the final spot by a whisker. It was a disappointing slide to 12th spot after Jitu was firmly in finals territory.

Prakash Nanjappa, on the other hand, languished at the bottom from the start and finished 25th.

Stellar performance from Bombayla & Deepika

Bombayla Devi Laishram faced Laurence Baldauff of Austria in the Women's Individual Round of 64 encounter. She was India's most consistent archer during the team event, and all eyes were on her after the exit of Laxmirani Majhi from the event.

Bombayla struck a 9 to begin with, but the next two shots were off the mark as she collected 24 points with 9,7, and 8. Her opponent made 27 to take a 2-0 lead. However, Bombayla made a comeback with a bullseye in the second set. She won the set with 28 points, compared to the 23 managed by the Austrian.

That set-win lifted Bombayla's confidence, and she easily won the third set 27-23 to take a 4-2 lead in the match. In the fourth set, the Austrian started with a 10 on her first arrow but managed only a 6 in the next. Bombayla, on the other hand, was consistent and managed a score of 26 against Baldauff's 24. With that set, she won the match 6-2 and progressed to the next round.

In the Round of 32, Bombayla Devi faced Shih-Chia Lin of Chinese Taipei and she made a flying start. Bombayla hit a 10 on her first attempt and that gave her a big cushion for a comfortable win. She won the first set 27-24. The second set followed the same trajectory and the same scoreline and in no time, Bombayla had a 4-0 lead.

Under pressure, Lin delivered a 10 on her first shot in the third set, while Bombayla managed only a 7. Lin followed it up with another 10 and ended up winning the set 27-26. In the fourth set, though, Bombayla got back her mojo and hit 10, 9, and 9 to win the set 28-26, and with it a place in the Round of 16, which will be held tomorrow.

Deepika Kumar also produced a stellar performance on the day against Kristine Esebua of Lithuania. She started poorly with an 8, but cashed in on her opponent's poor first shot to eventually win the first round 27-26.

The second round saw both players up their levels as they both shot two 10s and followed it with a 9 each. The points were split and the score stood at 3-1.

In the third, Deepika shot a perfect 30 against Krisitne's 27 to take it 5-1. But Kristine pulled one back to win the next one and made it 5-3.

In the final round, the match again reached levels not expected in a Round of 64 - both shot consecutive 10s, and in the final shot, they again shot 9 each. With the round tied, the two split points and Deepika was through with a score of 6-4.

In the next round, Deepika had a much-easier outing against Guendalina Sartori of Italy. Deepika started badly and lost the first round but won the next three to ease through 6-2 in the end.

Both Deepika and Bombayla will have their next match tomorrow.

Weightlifting

India's Sathish Kumar Sivalingam was in action in the 77kg category. He lifted 148 kg in snatch, and went for 153 but could not manage it. The group leader Andres Mauricio Caicedo lifted 155. He played it safe in the clean & jerk with a 170 in the first attempt, while the rest of the pack hit the 180s.

Sathish Kumar Sivalingam finished his event by lifting 181 kg in clean & jerk to end up with a total of 329 kgs to come fourth in Group B.

Judo

Avtar Singh was in action in the 90kg category in Judo. He was pitted against Popole Misenga of the Refugee Olympic team. Avtar Singh lost the match, but it is one of those odd moments when you do not feel so bad despite your country ending up on the losing side.

Australia thrashes India in hockey

Australia took the lead just 4 minutes into the match. Off the penalty corner, Australia took a shot but goalie Savita Punia blocked it. There was a melee right at the goalmouth with Savita and the Australian forward going for the ball, but the Aussies managed to pass it to Kathryn Slattery at the left side of the goal. She calmly shoved it into the goal past a hapless Savita, who was still on the ground.

By the end of the first quarter, India went down 0-2. The second goal as well came from a penalty corner, a straightforward shot by Georgina Morgan that she managed to sneak into the right side of the goal beneath Indian goalie Savita. Australia completely dominated the game from the start, and the difference in quality was visible.

India put on a much improved performance in the second quarter, and they even managed a good shot at the goal with Anuradha taking one from just inside the circle, but it sailed just over the crossbar. However, it was still Australia on top all through, although, India somehow managed to hold the Aussies from scoring further to keep the scoreline at 0-2 at halftime.

With 10 minutes to go in the third quarter, Australia increased their lead. The move started from the right, and after a couple of mis-passes and missed tackles from India, Jane Claxton got the ball at the center of the circle and sent it hurtling into the left top of the net. The Aussies soon followed it up with another field goal with Georgina Parker finding the back of the net.

In the final quarter, they scored two more goals to make it 6-0. But with seconds to go, India did manage to score a wonderful field goal thanks to Anuradha Thokchom to make it 6-1 in the end.

Boxing

Manoj Kumar was up against Lithuania's Evaldas Petrauskas in the Men's light welter 64 kg in the Round of 32. It began with Evaldas the favorite on the back of his bronze medal in the lightweight category (60 kg) at the London Olympics four years back.

In the first round, Evaldas caught Kumar straight away with an upper cut. Kumar had a reach advantage over his rival, but the Lithuanian was very quick on his feet. Manoj was alternating his attack and defence landing punches and moving away, while the Lithuanian was all aggression - bending down to find Kumar with his body punches now and then. The judges appeared to award Kumar's superior technical play as against his opponent's power and aggression as they gave round 1 to Manoj at 29 against 28.

Evaldas came out a bit more restrained this time. His naked aggression did not win him much in Round 1, and he looked to temper it this time. But Manoj once again won the judges over with his technical play against the favorite - a perfect 10, 10, 10 from the judges while Evaldas scored only 9, 9 , and 9.

The third went to Evaldas who scored 10,10 and 10 against Manoj's 9, 9 and 9. But it was too little too late, and Manoj had upset the 2012 bronze medalist to win the bout.

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