Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: India's big wins, misses and top medal hopes

By Andrew Clarance
BBC News, Delhi

image sourceGetty Images
image captionPV Sindhu is first Indian woman to win two individual Olympic medals.

On Sunday, India's ace shuttler PV Sindhu created Olympic history. She won bronze after beating China's He Bing Jiao, and with that she became the first Indian woman to win two individual Olympic medals. She won her first Olympic medal - a silver - at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Games are now 11 days in and India has two medals - the other from weightlifting champion Mirabai Chanu in the women's 49 kg category. She won a silver, putting to rest the disappointment of the Rio Olympics in 2016 where she was knocked out after a freak injury.

The women's and men's hockey teams have been in good form, and their medal hopes are still alive.

Here are India's big misses, and remaining medal hopes in Tokyo.

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image captionIndia's Gurjit Kaur scored the crucial win in the second quarter of the match

Women's hockey team

India broke out into celebrations as the women's hockey team created history on Monday by beating Australia 1-0. The team has entered the Olympic semi-finals for the first time in history after the Rani Rampal-led side took the lead in the 22nd minute and defended it fiercely.

To put this win into context - the country's best result was a fourth-place finish at the 1980 Olympics.

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image captionIndia, who will face Belgium in the last four, are historically the most successful team in Olympic hockey history.

Men's hockey team

India beat Great Britain in the men's Olympic hockey 3-1 on Monday to earn a place in the semi-finals.

They will face Belgium in the last four. The India team are historically the most successful team in Olympics hockey history, but the last of their eight golds came back in 1980.

Women's boxing

Lovlina Borgohain has assured India of another medal - a bronze after she beat Chen Nien-chin of Chinese Taipei to enter the semi-finals. In boxing, there is no third-place match. Both semifinalists are awarded bronze medals. But she could still get a gold or silver if she wins her semi-final bout on Wednesday against Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey.

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image captionLovlina Borgohain is assured of a bronze medal but will look to win silver or gold on Wednesday.

Javelin throw

The Indian javelin contingent is led by Neeraj Chopra who is expected to win a medal. He is the current national record holder with a throw of 88.07m at the Indian Grand Prix in March this year.

At the international stage, he has a best of 88.06m at the Asian Games in 2018.


The Indian wrestling squad will begin its Olympic campaign led by Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat.

With three world championships to his name, Punia is the top contender from India in the 65kg men's category at his first Olympics.

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image captionBajrang Punia is the top contender from India in the 65kg men's category at his first Olympics.

Having suffered a freak injury during the Rio Olympics, Vinesh Phogat returned to India in a wheelchair and underwent surgery.

The 26-year-old is now roaring to go in the 53kg category with some great wins in the last couple of months, as well as reclaiming the No.1 ranking.

Discus throw

Kamalpreet Kaur booked a place in the women's discus throw final after she qualified on Saturday with a brilliant performance. Her video of a "monster throw" of 64 meters in her third attempt went viral on social media.

Watch it here.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The big misses for India's Olympic hopes


India's 15-member shooting contingent was the favourite to bring back a big haul of medals but that did not go according to the plan. Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary, favourites for a podium finish in the mixed 10m Air Pistol event, crashed out in the second qualification stage in Tokyo.

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image captionManu Bhaker suffered a pistol malfunction and crashed out as time and pressure built up.

Bhaker, pegged as a certain medal prospect even before the Games started, failed to reach the finals in any of the three events she participated in. She had a pistol malfunction in the 10m women's Air Pistol event, leading to more pressure as she lost time.

In the men's 10m Air Pistol event Saurabh Chaudhary, world No.2 and Youth Olympic champion, qualified for the final but failed to finish in the top three positions.

India's medal tally at recent Olympics:

  • 2016 Rio Olympics: 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
  • 2012 London Olympics: 2 Silver, 4 Bronze
  • 2008 Beijing Olympics: 1 Gold, 2 Bronze

India has won a total of 28 medals since 1900 - 11 from hockey, five from wrestling, four from shooting, two each in badminton, boxing and athletics, and one each in tennis and weightlifting.


Despite losing out on a second Olympic medal, Mary Kom is a winner for many Indians.

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image captionMary Kom initially thought she had won the bout and was all smiles but later learnt that she had lost 3-2.

She made a heart-breaking exit from the Olympics after losing to Ingrit Victoria Valencia of Colombia in her flyweight section (51kg) bout.

She initially thought she had won and was shocked to later learn from social media that she had indeed lost the match. Losing on a 3-2 split decision verdict despite winning two of the three rounds left the boxer confused.

She won a bronze at the 2012 London Olympics.

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image captionDeepika Kumari is the number one ranked recurve woman in the world


Deepika Kumari, the world No.1 in the women's recurve category, crashed out of the quarterfinals in Tokyo, losing to Korean An San in straight sets.

This was her third Olympic outing for India, having lost in the quarters in Rio in 2016, and in London in 2012.

Her husband, Atanu Das, also crashed out of the Olympics after losing to home favourite Takaharu Furukawa, an individual silver medallist at the 2012 Olympics, in a pre-quarterfinal clash.

media caption"I was told to cover my legs at training," wrestler Vinesh Phogat tells BBC Sport

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